The first Hong Kong Trade seminar in West Suffolk has proven a huge success and is to become an annual event.
Approximately 70 people, from business and organisations across West Suffolk and the Eastern region, attended the ‘Think Asia; Think Hong Kong: Finding Your Partners in Hong Kong’ seminar at The Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds.
The seminar was organised by West Suffolk partners St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council in conjunction with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), continuing a commitment between the three to explore trade potential between West Suffolk and Hong Kong.
St Edmundsbury’s deputy mayor Cllr Patrick Chung, who is originally from Hong Kong, has spear headed the trade link.
“I am delighted that so many businesses came along to the first Hong Kong trade seminar. This event was about helping businesses in West Suffolk make the right connections with companies in Hong Kong. We have had some very positive feedback and hopefully this will lead to further business growth and the creation of new jobs in West Suffolk.”
David Marsden, director at HKTDC was among the guest speakers, alongside Samir Durrani, a director at HSBC, who discussed Hong Kong’s role as Asia’s Premier Financial Centre.
Andrew Denny, managing director of Bury based Fix-A-Form International, spoke of his company’s experience in trading abroad, while Alan Highet from UK Trade and Investment advised on how to grow your business in Hong Kong.
Leader of St Edmundsbury Cllr John Griffiths, said: “It is excellent that the HKTDC, who first visited West Suffolk at our invitation last November, recognise the enormous trading potential not only across St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath but Suffolk and the Eastern region.
“St Edmundsbury, and Forest Heath, and other partners like the New Anglia LEP, are constantly striving to encourage and create further economic growth – whether for example via grants to small businesses just starting out, or through our work to secure the delivery of the Suffolk Business Park, which will help us to welcome many businesses we know are looking to relocate to West Suffolk.
“Another aspect is helping businesses here make the right connections – their success is our success- and I am sure that this seminar has opened the door to new opportunities, markets and trade potential that will be benefit our businesses and people here."
Cllr James Waters, leader of Forest Heath, said: “We already have low unemployment in West Suffolk but we must never grow complacent. Forest Heath is at the forefront in helping our businesses to grow by shaping opportunities such as this, the first Hong Kong Trade Seminar. I am proud of the success we have achieved in encouraging entrepreneurs and innovation across West Suffolk as well as opening the doors to new markets for our businesses to further explore.”
David Marsden, director at HKTDC said: “There are lots of benefits for Hong Kong businesses in trading with West Suffolk. It is at the heart of one of the most productive regions in the UK, has easy access to both ports and to Cambridge and London. The dualling of the A11 between Fiveways and Thetford, and the planned growth of the Suffolk Business Park illustrate why West Suffolk has a strong reputation for business growth.”