A delegation of business leaders from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), led by the city's Chief Executive John Lee and principal government officials, has arrived in Riyadh to explore collaboration opportunities with the business community of Saudi Arabia.
Several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed at the Investment Forum yesterday. These include Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) and Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Company.
The delegation paid a visit to The Line Experience exhibition to learn about the innovative urban designs of the futuristic city NEOM.
Over the past two days, the delegation discussed with Saudi government and industry leaders how Hong Kong can facilitate the Kingdom's strategic development via its role as a global financial hub and China's international gateway.
The 30-strong delegation includes senior executives from Hong Kong's financial institutions and regulator as well as major players in innovation and technology (I&T), sustainability and smart city solutions. Riyadh is the first of three stops on this week-long mission to the Middle East, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
At a press conference followed by an Investment Forum and dinner officiated by the Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih and attended by about 300 Saudi guests yesterday, Chief Executive John Lee said: "Saudi Arabia is a strong economy of the Gulf region and a growing source of foreign direct investment. Driven by Vision 2030, the dynamic blueprint for the future, Saudi Arabia is destined to take its place as an economic powerhouse built on diversity, sustainability, and innovation and technology. Hong Kong has long been the Asia-Pacific region's multi-level bridge for foreign and Mainland Chinese businesses and investors. As integration with the Mainland continues to deepen, so too do opportunities for Hong Kong, and the economies and companies that work with Hong Kong."
Lee was joined by Deputy Secretary of Justice Horace Cheung, Secretary for Financial Services and Treasury Christopher Hui, and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau. Other business leaders from Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia also exchanged views at the investment forum yesterday.
At the forum, Al-Falih said: "This visit comes on the heels of numerous historic visits between our two countries starting with the visit of President Xi in 2016 following which the ties between the two countries deepened. Through this collaboration we aim at further developing various sectors whether it be asset management, private equity, wealth management - or in fintech, which saw an exponential growth of 79 per cent between 2021 and 2022."
He added:" Saudi Arabia has the largest regulated capital markets in the region, with the largest stock exchange in the MENA region. Due to evolving trends we are also making efforts to strengthen global supply chains and have launched a dedicated global supply chain resilience initiative. This will be a great opportunity for China and Hong Kong-based companies to use the KSA as a platform for adding value to products customised for the Middle East region and beyond."
Several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed at the Investment Forum. These include:
- Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) and Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Company
- SenseTime and King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) (Letter of Intent)
- Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) and Riyadh Chamber
- Templewater Ltd, Bravo Transport Services Ltd and Wisdom Motors (Hong Kong) Ltd and Nesma Holding Ltd
- SenseTime and Sela Company (Letter of Intent)
- Hutchison and King Salman Energy Park (SPARK)
HKTDC Chairman Dr Peter K N Lam said: "Saudi Arabia has an important role to play in the global economy, similar to China. And as a global financial hub, China's international gateway and a commercial hub for the Belt and Road Initiative, Hong Kong can facilitate opportunities to help drive development initiatives around the world. We are pleased to organise this delegation to come and discuss collaboration opportunities, not only in our traditional sectors of finance and trade, but also in new areas in tech and innovation, smart city and sustainability solutions. Creating opportunities has been the work of the HKTDC for over 55 years, and I am hopeful that we can continue to help Hong Kong businesses play a part in the exciting growth of Saudi Arabia and the regional overall." - TradeArabia News Service