By Daniel Hunter
With an ambitious £29 billion worth of investment scheduled up to 2015-16, Hong Kong is sending a clear message to the British companies to invest in many of their key large scale infrastructure projects.
The opportunities in the Hong Kong along with their transparent and open procurement system mean that there are many profitable opportunities for British companies.
UK Trade & Investment organised a trade mission of British companies to Hong Kong as part of a three-day visit to learn more about new business opportunities.
“The number of projects taking place here in Hong Kong compared with the relatively small size of the territory means you can think of Hong Kong as one huge high-value opportunity," UK Trade Commissioner Stephen Cartwright said.
"The relative ease of doing business here should encourage more UK companies to tap into this, including SME’s, who can access supply chain opportunities. UK companies should also see Hong Kong as a potential stepping-stone into China.”
Five large infrastructure projects in Hong Kong are on UK Trade & Investment’s priority list of top fifty-five global projects identified as likely areas of success for UK companies.
These include the West Kowloon Cultural District, the redevelopment of the old airport site at Kai Tak, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai Macau Bridge, rail opportunities and the Lok Ma Chau Loop. In addition, other major opportunities on the horizon include the building of third runway at Hong Kong Airport, which has just received approval from the Hong Kong Executive Council.
Assisting UK companies to access high value opportunities overseas is priority area of work included in the UK Trade & Investment Strategy “Britain Open for Business”. The companies, which include UK architecture and design firms - as well as suppliers to the construction industry - are here as part of an Infrastructure “Mega-Projects” mission this week.
The companies were briefed by the Hong Kong Development Bureau and visited the Kai Tak site — an urban redevelopment project roughly three times the size of London’s Canary Wharf. In addition to briefings by industry experts on doing business in Hong Kong, the mission also met with a number of UK companies who are already succeeding in Hong Kong including Purcell Miller Tritton and Arup.
They also heard about the West Kowloon Cultural District from Foster + Partners, who developed the masterplan. Forthcoming opportunities include the tender for the first arts building the Xiqu Centre, which is currently open — with tenders for a number of other iconic arts buildings expected in the coming year.
“The trade mission gave us a tremendous insight into the opportunities available to us in the Hong Kong market as well as in mainland China," Nick Buckingham, Managing Director of Alumasc Construction Products said.
"The support and involvement of UK Trade & Investment and major decision makers in the Hong Kong ‘Mega-Projects’ gave the mission real value and will help us as we develop our growth strategy in this region.”
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