From October 19th to 21st, the finance ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies met in Hội An, Vietnam to discuss regional and global economy and finance , as well as appropriate policy actions. Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po attended from Hong Kong.
The official joint ministerial statement issued after the meeting stated that the ministers “encourage economies to continue strengthening regional cooperation, explore and develop effective financing solutions for infrastructure, and promote private sector involvement in infrastructure projects in the region.”
For Hong Kong, strengthening ties with neighbouring countries to promote regional trade and economic growth is needed. As the world's eighth largest trading entity by trade value, free and open trade is of utmost importance. The trade and logistics industry is a main pillar of the Hong Kong economy, contributing to 22% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and providing employment for 750,000 people.
In order to support the massive funding needs for infrastructure investment in the region, Chan said that the Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office (IFFO), established under the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in 2016, is working with a group of key stakeholders to facilitate infrastructure investments and financing.
As major infrastructure developments are unveiled, such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area, those with the skills and knowledge in operations management, information technology, international business, transport logistics and cross-functional management will be required by many companies in the field.
The manpower needs must be met with skilled workers who possess a broad base of knowledge, innovative thinking and excellent communication skills to work across the region.
With improved infrastructure and strong regional links, the talent demand for supply chain management (SCM) is expected to continue. Hong Kong is known for being a world-class logistics service-provider and with the growing needs of e-commerce, especially in the massive Chinese market, Hong Kong is in a key position to provide the necessary infrastructure and manpower to meet the needs of this growth.
Popular Chinese B2C sites such as Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com are constantly innovating in product offerings as well as in order fulfilment. Both companies are looking at ways to improve customers’ online shopping experience and have plans to increase the luxury brands and products offered.
Louis Vuitton and Gucci have already joined the five trillion yuan (US$751 billion) e-retail market - having previously resisted doing so. Tmall and JD.com have pledged to fight counterfeiting as part of the effort to woo fashion powerhouses to their sites. Subsequently, Tmall has recently launched its by-invitation-only platform, Luxury Pavillion, and JD.com has implemented a “white glove” delivery service.
The rise of the middle class in China also led to an increase in online shopping on mobile devices - from everyday items such as groceries to buying tickets for concerts. For players in the e-retail market, innovation entails building smarter warehouses with automated picking and packing, the use of autonomous delivery vehicles (ie. drones) and the implementation of new and improved delivery services.
For a better understanding of the industry be at the forefront of knowledge and skills acquisition in this area, The Global Supply Chain Management programme (GSCM) offered by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University provides graduates with cross-discipline knowledge and skills in transport logistics, supply chain management, business and organisational management. Graduates of the programme will be well prepared with practical working experience and the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the challenges of one of the main pillars of Hong Kong’s economy, and contribute to the sustaining and support of the industry’s future.
For more programme information, please visit the LMS website.