Speakers at the event included Stephen Cartwright, Trade Commissioner, British Consulate-General, Hong Kong and Shirley Chan, Country Head of Hong Kong for RBS Group. The event was hosted at the Holiday Inn, Northampton by Mark Charteress, Regional Director, Commercial Banking for NatWest who earlier this year visited the Far East as part of a trade mission.
The audience were advised that world trade has grown significantly faster than world GDP over the last 30 years, highlighting the opportunity to exporters, and that the UK, as the world's 11th largest exporter of goods and the second largest exporter of services, already had excellent exporting credentials . Indeed 60% of the UK's annual productivity growth is attributable to exporting firms.
Hong Kong is seen very much as a growth destination for world trade, given its own market dynamics alongside its location to the Chinese mainland. Hong Kong is the UK's largest trading partner with the country exporting £4.2billion of goods to the country and over 1000 British companies are trading from Hong Kong. Opportunities exist for UK companies as the Hong Kong government is seeking to spend £5billion on infrastructure projects across 2011-12, and the country is seen as a good match to the UK's capability in a number of sectors.
The ability to utilise Hong Kong as a door opener to China, the world's largest trading nation was also discussed, as China continues its aim to achieve greater political and economic influence around the world.
Speaking about the event, Roy Griffiths, Regional Director, Global Transaction Services at NatWest said: "Our aim of the morning was to raise the awareness of the opportunities that exporting currently presents as well as looking in detail towards the specific attractiveness of Hong Kong as a trading destination. One of the key things that I took away from the morning was a quote from one of the presentations that simply said - if you are going to grow your business, go where business is growing."
Attendees at the event included business owners and managers as well as professionals from the Northamptonshire business community.