By Daniel Hunter

A London design and software firm has joined Hugo Swire, Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in encouraging UK firms to take advantage of new trade opportunities in Hong Kong.

Keepthinking, with the help of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) London, is already benefitting from a three-year contract in May worth almost £400,000 ($4.8m HKD) to design and deliver the website for the new West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong.

After taking part in a UKTI London-led trade mission in May, Founder and Managing Director Cristiano Bianchi recognised the opportunities Hong Kong offers to a firm with Keepthinking’s expertise in digital design and software development for the museum and cultural sectors.

“Hong Kong has a wealthy and dynamic younger generation who is looking for something else that isn’t shopping. Their cultural needs have been somehow neglected and there is a massive heritage that is ready to be exploited," he explained.

"There are amazing collections in the current museums and galleries that aren’t displayed or even managed to their full potential and the differences with western capital cities are striking.

“In London, the number one tourist destination is the British Museum — you would not go to a museum in Hong Kong as you don’t even know they exist. Their museums and arts spaces are not promoted in the same way as the UK, which is partly why this project is in development."

Keen to expand on Keepthinking’s UK and US business, Cristiano attended a UKTI trade mission to the Asian Attractions Show in Hong Kong. As part of the visit, he had access to daily networking receptions, attended market briefings and met high-profile contacts.

“I wanted to find out what opportunities were available to us in Hong Kong. We did some background research and checked out the cultural space before going. UKTI London helped us to prepare for the visit and ensured that we met with senior people in the cultural services in Hong Kong,” said Cristiano.

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