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Policy Proposals  Asia and Oceania Japan-Hong Kong and Hong Kong-Japan Business Cooperation Committees -- 35th Plenary Session Discussion on Possibilities for Japan-Hong Kong Cooperation

March 23, 2016

Keidanren's Japan-Hong Kong Business Cooperation Committee (Chair Katsunori Nagayasu) hosted the 35th Plenary Session of the Japan-Hong Kong and Hong Kong-Japan Business Cooperation Committees on March 23 in Tokyo. The Japanese side was represented by 17 participants headed by Chair Nagayasu, while Hong Kong was represented by 13 participants headed by Chairman Jonathan Choi of the Hong Kong-Japan Business Cooperation Committee. The discussions at the session are summarized below.

Outlook for Hong Kong Economy

The Hong Kong side explained that one of the objectives of the 13th Five-Year Plan adopted by China's National People's Congress in March is to raise the share of services in GDP and that Hong Kong, for whom services account for more than 90 percent of GDP, will be called on to play an increasingly important role in the achievement of this goal. It was stated that Hong Kong is committed to pursuing innovation, particularly in the financial field, which is one of the pillars of the Hong Kong economy.

It was explained that the aim of the "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) initiative is to bring the 4.5 billion people of 65 countries together, and that OBOR goes beyond promoting trade and infrastructure development to include such objectives as economic policy harmonization and the strengthening of ties between people. As an advanced technological and manufacturing country, the cooperation of Japan was requested to ensure the success of the initiative.

The Japanese side affirmed that Hong Kong continued to be an indispensable partner as a leading global center for international finance and logistics and as the gateway to mainland China.

Japan-Hong Kong Cooperation

The participants discussed tourism and logistics, which were identified as promising areas for significant future expansion in Japan-Hong Kong cooperation.

In the area of tourism, the Japanese side outlined the recent increase in foreign visitors to Japan, and explained that visitors from Hong Kong for the most part follow the so-called golden route that runs through the cities of Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. The Hong Kong side responded that Japan has many cities that are very attractive, but remain little known. Participants expressed the view that it is important to communicate the attractions of these cities through exhibits in trade fairs and other venues.

In the area of logistics, the Japanese side introduced ongoing efforts to export Japan's delicious agricultural products to Hong Kong by making the greatest possible use of the transportation infrastructure that bridges Japan and Hong Kong.

As five years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Vice-Governor Toshiyuki Hata of Fukushima Prefecture made a presentation on ongoing reconstruction efforts in Fukushima Prefecture with a focus on the prefecture's tourism resources and food exports.

After the close of the meeting, a luncheon was held where Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in Hong Kong Kuninori Matsuda spoke on the subject of the current situation and future directions in the development of ties between Hong Kong and Japan. Stating that Hong Kong has been the leading destination for Japan's agricultural exports for the past eleven years, Ambassador Matsuda emphasized the strong relations that exist between Japan and Hong Kong.

Regional Affairs