Event Recap: CanCham Hosts Canadian Deputy Minister in the Midst of the AFF

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong proudly hosted Mr. Simon Kennedy, Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Trade for a presentation on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. He highlighted Canada’s new Global Markets Action Plan and its relevance for Hong Kong and Asia, and underscored Canada’s ongoing interest in expanding trade and investment ties with Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Elaborating on initiatives targeted toward deepening Canada’s relationship with the Asia-Pacific region, the Deputy Minister made reference to Canada’s ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations with S Korea, Japan, India, and Thailand, as well as Canada’s participation within the Transpacific Partnership. With Canadian merchandise exports surpassing CAD$3.5 billion to Hong Kong in 2012, and up by 92% in the first ten months of 2013 making Hong Kong Canada’s 6th largest export market globally, Hong Kong is an important market for Canadian exporters.  In this regard, Canada is proactively deepening trade and cultural exchanges with Hong Kong, including with the recently implemented Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (2013).  Canada has plans to open several new trade offices in Mainland China in the coming year which will further support Canadian firms in the Greater China region.

Following his presentation, the floor was opened up to the audience for a session moderated by Mr. Andrew Work of The Harbour Times.  Discussions covered a variety of topics including including how best to measure results of trade agreements and encourage their use by Canadian business; the role of reciprocity in Canada’s investment relationships; the impact of the Canada-EU CETA; and pipeline development in Canada. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is proud to have provided members with the forum to voice questions to Mr. Kennedy and to have the great pleasure of hosting such a dynamic individual.


Event Recap: Crowd Funding and Disruptive Finance – From Seed to Exit Series Part 4

Crowd Funding and Disruptive Finance – From Seed to Exit Series Part 4: Presented by the Entrepreneur and Small Business and Young Professional Committees at the Canadian Chamber

The Entrepreneur and Small Business Committee and Young Professional Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong held the 4th part of the “From Seed to Exit” Series. Hosted at the KPMG office, it attracted a diverse crowd of past, present and aspiring future investors. Fiona Atkinson (Colony88) guided the audience through the development of crowdfunding and how it works as an investing model.

Then, moderated by Jono Lilley (Colony88), the panel went over how their various models differed from each other. Simon Loong (WeLab) led us through the facets of WeLend as a Peer-to-Peer Business Lending model, and crowdfunding for concept stage companies led by James Giancottiis (Big Colors).

Crowdfunding has been growing in strength and popularity since the 2008 crash and the crash was arguably the best thing that could have happened to crowdfunding. Since businesses began seeking less traditional ways to finance, and individuals looked to other investment options, crowdfunding has been increasingly gaining traction. As regulators in certain countries see the draw of crowdfunding, they are beginning to work closer with crowdfunding platforms to develop regulations to adapt to the changing investing environment.

Overseas financing is a growing trend in crowdfunding, where North Americans are investing in Asia and Asians in North America. Hong Kong with a well established brand for trade and finance, as well as being the bridge between the West and Asia is poised to capitalize on the growing crowdfunding community. And, under the right circumstances, Hong Kong may become the future crowdfunding capital of the world.

We would like to thank our key event sponsors: Baker Tilly Hong Kong and Air Canada

Canadian exports of LNG to Asia seen as enormous opportunity

The huge price differential between Canada and Asia presents opportunities for Canadian exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), speakers at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong said.

“If Canada exports LNG to Asia, the potential for arbitrage is enormous. The price of gas and oil in Asia is significantly higher than Canada. It’s an incredible opportunity for banks,” said Kevin Lynch, vice-chairman of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial services firm.

Last year, the natural gas price in North America was US$3.71 per million British thermal units (Btu), much cheaper than the natural gas price of US$16.45 per million Btu in South Korea and Japan, Lynch cited.

To read the full article please click here.

Returnees to Hong Kong slam idea to limit aid for Canadian dual citizens

A suggestion to limit consular assistance to Canadians living abroad who hold dual nationality has caused anger in Hong Kong.

The aim of the proposal is to save money by rationing universal assistance for citizens.

It would reduce the largesse and complexity of diplomatic services, a problem identified by bureaucrats.

The idea has upset K.C. Yao, who lived in Toronto for 20 years before moving back to Hong Kong last year.

She is one of an estimated 300,000 Canadian citizens in the city.

To read the full article please click here. 

Business-friendly Canada overtakes U.S. in competitive ranking

Canada, struggling to emerge from a two-year slump brought on by weak exports, has swept past the U.S., Germany and Japan in a Bloomberg ranking of the best countries for doing business.

Canada rose four places to reach second place, behind only Hong Kong, which led for a third straight year. The U.S. fell one spot to third place in the index that’s based on six criteria, followed by Singapore and Australia.

Read more: http://bbccanada.dev.canada.com/Business+friendly+Canada+overtakes+competitive+ranking/9413928/story.html#ixzz2rZBaRA00

Sun Life Hong Kong Appoints Chief Financial Officer

Sun Life Hong Kong today announced the appointment of Greg Kwan as Chief Financial Officer, reporting to Wim Hekstra, CEO of Sun Life Hong Kong.

Prior to his new role, Mr. Kwan was Vice President, Internal Audit, Sun Life Financial Asia.  He headed up the Internal Audit team for SLF Asia which provided process and control assurance services to Sun Life’s life insurance and asset management operations in Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Prior to his Sun Life regional role, Mr. Kwan was part of Sun Life’s Corporate Development team in Canada.  He was responsible for coordinating and analyzing potential acquisitions and divestitures, and was part of a number of key Sun Life merger and acquisition projects.

Mr. Kwan has over 22 years of experience in both the banking and life insurance sectors in Canada, New Zealand, and Asia.  He has worked in a variety of roles including Corporate Development, Finance, Operational Risk Management, Reinsurance, and Audit.

He holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario, Canada and a Chartered Accountant/Chartered Professional Accountant designation from Canada.

BlackBerry Surges on Continued Pentagon Dominance

BlackBerry Ltd. (BB) surged the most in a month after the U.S. Department of Defense said the company’s smartphones will account for 98 percent of devices in one of its new networks.

BlackBerry rose 8.2 percent to C$10.80 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, its biggest gain since Dec. 20. After tumbling 33 percent last year, the stock has gained 37 percent this year.

To read the full article please click here.