'Hong Kong safe for UAE traders despite protests'

Hong Kong safe for UAE traders despite protests
Economic fundamentals remain strong in Hong Kong.

Dubai - Bilateral trade between UAE, Hong Kong hit $4.6B in first five months of 2019

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:45 PM

Last updated: Sat 31 Aug 2019, 12:50 AM

Hong Kong is safe for UAE traders and buyers going to the Asian financial centre for business purposes despite the protests taking place in certain areas, said a senior official of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in Dubai.
"At the moment, I can see there are confrontations in Hong Kong but these are limited to certain areas; they are not widespread. Major transport networks are not affected hence international buyers can travel in Hong Kong without any hassles. Of course, they may cause some inconvenience to some buyers if they go to other places," said Daniel Lam, regional director for Middle East and Africa at the HKTDC.
"At the HKTDC, we keep close monitor of the situation and communicate with the buyers. At the moment, it is safe there."
"In the last exhibitions that were organised recently, we received some inquiries from buyers and exhibitors about travel to Hong Kong for safety. But all the exhibitions in July and August operated smoothly. The book fair attracted close to a million visitors, including overseas. For food the expo, we also recorded 450,000 visitors," Lam told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of a Press conference hosted to announce trade fairs in 2019.
Protests erupted in mid-June after an extradition bill was introduced, which would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trials. But now the bill has been suspended; protests have now evolved into demands for greater democracy. Lam hoped that all parties will exercise restraint and solve the issue peacefully.
The HKTDC hosted some 30 fairs that attracted 39,000 exhibitors and over 770,000 visitors from all over the world in 2018-19. Lam encouraged all buyers, distributors and retailers from the UAE to visit Hong Kong for sourcing.
"Still, Hong Kong's economic fundamentals are strong. We have a good place to do business with free-flow of capital and travel to attract business," he added.
Bilateral trade between the UAE and Hong Kong reached $4.6 billion in the first five months of 2019. The UAE was Hong Kong's 14th-largest export market with a total export value of $2.74 billion and 17th-largest import source with an import value of $1.86 billion.
Lam expects bilateral trade to reach $10 billion this year, almost the same as last year.  
- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

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