The Hong Kong Trade seminar in Bury St Edmunds is to become an annual event following the success of its first meeting.
Around 70 people from businesses and organisations across west Suffolk and the eastern region attended the ‘Think Asia; Think Hong Kong: Finding your Partners is Hong Kong’ seminar at the Athenaeum yesterday (February 26).
Organised by St Edmundsbury borough and Forest Heath district councils with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the seminars will continue to explore the potential of trade between west Suffolk and Hong Kong.
Cllr Patrick Chung, St Edmundsbury’s deputy mayor, who is originally from Hong Kong, has spearheaded the trade link.
“I am delighted that so many businesses came along to the first Hong Kong trade seminar,” he said.
“This event was about helping businesses in West Suffolk make the right connections with companies in Hong Kong. We have had some very positive feedback and hopefully this will lead to further business growth and the creation of new jobs in West Suffolk.”
Guest speakers included David Marsden, director at HKTDC; Samir Durrani, a director at HSBC; Andrew Denny, managing director of Bury based Fix-A-Form International; and Alan Highet from UK Trade and Investment.
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury, said: “It is excellent that the HKTDC, who first visited West Suffolk at our invitation last November, recognise the enormous trading potential not only across St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath but Suffolk and the Eastern region.
“St Edmundsbury, and Forest Heath, and other partners like the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), are constantly striving to encourage and create further economic growth.
“I am sure that this seminar has opened the door to new opportunities, markets and trade potential that will be benefit our businesses and people here.”
Cllr James Waters, leader of Forest Heath, said: “We already have low unemployment in West Suffolk but we must never grow complacent. Forest Heath is at the forefront in helping our businesses to grow by shaping opportunities such as this, the first Hong Kong Trade Seminar.
I am proud of the success we have achieved in encouraging entrepreneurs and innovation across West Suffolk as well as opening the doors to new markets for our businesses to further explore.”
David Marsden, director at HKTDC, said: “There are lots of benefits for Hong Kong businesses in trading with West Suffolk.
“It is at the heart of one of the most productive regions in the UK, has easy access to both ports and to Cambridge and London. The dualling of the A11 between Fiveways and Thetford, and the planned growth of the Suffolk Business Park illustrate why West Suffolk has a strong reputation for business growth.”