Keeping it in the family: How this Hong Kong enterprise helps businesses in UAE

Built on the philosophy of reaching out to spread positive influence across the globe, Tsangs Group represents innovation and development

By Sandhya D'Mello

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Published: Thu 8 Feb 2024, 7:18 PM

Last updated: Fri 9 Feb 2024, 11:11 AM

As a 14th-generation Hong Konger and a 4th-generation member of Tsangs Group, a family enterprise, Patrick Tsang has been inspired by grandfather Kee Yau Tsang to go to any place in the world that has stability and potential. Leaving one’s hometown was not usual in the 1950s but Kee Yau Tsang set up a Chinese restaurant in the North-West of England in those times. He was also the first to open a Chinese restaurant in both Belfast and Dublin.

“There are people who would not think a minute before reaching out to terra incognita, and there are business owners who never stop learning by reaching out to new markets. My grandfather belonged to the latter group by demonstrating the spirit of integrity, resilience, grit, perseverance and entrepreneurship that transferred down the generations,” said Patrick Tsang, chairman of Tsangs Group and co-founder and chairman of Hong Kong Ambassadors Club.

Growing up and studying in the United Kingdom while embracing Chinese culture gave Patrick the opportunity to develop an international perspective while also cherishing the importance of relationships.

“I am grateful for the unique blend of cultures that has shaped my identity and growth journey, allowing me to navigate the global landscape with a deep appreciation for both Western and Chinese values, and an interest to explore the rest of the world,” said Patrick, who has been travelling to the Middle East for over 20 years.

The UAE’s economic diversification efforts have resulted in the development of sectors such as tourism, finance, technology, renewable energy and manufacturing, making the economy more sustainable and taking it beyond oil and gas industries. The adoption of English Common Law in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) establishes the UAE as the first jurisdiction in the Middle East to implement a legal framework and judicial system akin to Singapore and Hong Kong.

The country’s multicultural environment, attracting people from all over the world, adds to its vibrancy and diversity. The ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision set forth a national plan that aims to propel the UAE’s development over the next decade, with focus on social, economic, investment and development aspects. It will contribute to foster innovation while abiding by international standards and strengthening its position as a global partner and compelling economic hub.

2024 marks 40 years of diplomatic relations between the UAE and China. The two countries are also strong trading partners. The recent inclusion of the UAE in the BRICS bloc reflects its growing significance on the global stage. Together with the Belt and Road Initiative, more trade, business and investment opportunities can be created across countries.

“We remain very bullish and optimistic about the UAE. It has been proactive in reducing its reliance on oil revenues by promoting diversified investments such as new infrastructure projects and tourism, including hosting international events like the Expo 2020 or COP28, which some people suggest would mean short-term successes for Dubai. But it is exactly this ambition of the UAE and its leadership to permanently invite the world to this greatly connected country,” said Patrick.

Tsangs Group supports Emiratisation through their investment strategies and partnerships. The group invests in Emirati companies that align with its investment goals and recently partnered with Peregrine to set up an office in Abu Dhabi, creating more employment opportunities.

They also set up the Hong Kong Ambassadors Club (HKAC) together with Jeffrey Lam, Member of the Legislative Council and Executive Council of Hong Kong. Founded in 2023, the HKAC is a non-profit non-governmental organisation, dedicated to promoting the brand image of ‘Hong Kong Inc.’ and curates high-level dialogues between strategic regions such as the Middle East, Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asia, so as to foster stronger business, trade and investment relations between Hong Kong and those strategic regions.

In 2023, the HKAC led five delegations to the Middle East and brought Tsangs group portfolio companies, such as A-Grade Energy, Rice Robotics, Green Monday to tap into the Middle East market and contribute to its development.

“We collaborate with local partners in the UAE to facilitate knowledge exchange and we support businesses in establishing themselves in the UAE through joint ventures, high-tech initiatives, and overall business growth. Vice versa, we also support the UAE companies in expanding their operations to mainland China and Hong Kong, ensuring the transfer of skills and knowledge between the two regions,” said Patrick.

In April, Tsangs Group will host the first anniversary of HKAC to organise high-level business and investment networking with government officials, conglomerates, family offices and leaders across the strategic regions.

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