More than 500 logistics and maritime players from 15 countries and regions took part in the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference, which was held today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The largest logistics conference ever to take place in Hong Kong, it featured nearly 30 prominent speakers, including the Chinese mainland’s Xu Zuyuan, Vice Minister, Ministry of Transport, who delivered the keynote luncheon address.
Hong Kong Government Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Executive Director Fred Lam opened the conference, which was organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government and the HKTDC.
In her address, Ms Cheng noted several industry trends, including “the rising importance of China as a consumer market.” It was, she said, creating “two-way traffic flow to and from China” and offering “immense opportunities for the logistics and maritime industries.” Ms Cheng also noted that the new product flow was bringing with it more up-market goods. “With our professional workforce and world-class infrastructure, Hong Kong is well-positioned to provide logistics solutions tailored for the high-end market segment.”
Picking up on Ms Cheng’s comments, Mr Lam noted: “Alongside the Chinese mainland, Asia in general is also on the rise, led by the economic might of the ASEAN nations and India, which will lead to a fundamental change in the traditional East-to-West goods movement.”
Apart from buying more from traditional customers, added Mr Lam, “we are also buying more from each other. According to the Asian Development Bank, Asia’s intra-regional trade reached 59.3 per cent last year – up more than 12 percentage points over the past decade. I believe it’s a trend that will only become more visible in the coming years.”
Spotlight on Asia
Morning highlights included a panel discussion on China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, with a special focus on ASEAN and India. Panel speakers were: Ren Hong, Deputy Director General, Department of Basic Industries, in the mainland’s National Development and Reform Commission; Miriam Lau, Hong Kong Government Legislative Council member, representing transport; Tung Chee Chen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orient Overseas (International) Ltd; Dr Ruth Banomyong, Director, Centre for Logistics Research, Thammasat Business School, Thammasat University, Thailand; and Arpita Mukherjee, Professor, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.
A second panel focused on “Global Trends and their Impact on Asia.” Speakers included: Tommy Lui, Executive Vice President, Head of Asia, Supply Chain Solution, LF Logistics; and Atsushi Kato, Director & President, Toshiba International Procurement Hong Kong, Ltd.
The afternoon session featured three breakout sessions: “Logistics Evolution: Managing Your Business amid a Challenging Global Landscape,” “What it Takes to be a Regional Distribution Centre,” and the “Maritime Industry Today and Tomorrow.”
Speakers in the “Logistics Evolution” session included PricewaterhouseCoopers AG WPG Partner, Global Industry Leader Transportation & Logistics Klaus-Dieter Ruske, and IBM Global Business Services Supply Chain Innovation Centre Lead Hiroaki Saito, based in Shanghai.
German Eyes on China
In the “Regional Distribution Centre” session, Board of Hamburg Hafen Marketing eV Chairman Thomas Lϋtje talked about “the port of Hamburg as a regional distribution centre in Europe, with a view to China business.” Mr Lϋtje is also Managing Director of HHLA Container Terminals GmbH.
Modern Terminals Ltd Chief Commercial Officer Peter J Levesque was among the speakers in the “Maritime Industry: Today and Tomorrow” breakout session.
The conference also included business matching and an optional side programme in Hong Kong. Tomorrow’s optional mainland visit will take place in the DCH Logistics Park in Xinhui and the Zhongshan Bonded Logistics Centre, with a dinner briefing by the V-Grow Logistics Group.
The Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference was organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government and the HKTDC, in association with the Hong Kong Logistics Development Council, Hong Kong Maritime Industry Council and Hong Kong Port Development Council.
Source: HKTDC, November 25, 2011