Asia Forum is an annual regional forum organised by the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide in a Southeast Asian city. This event serves the purpose of facilitating exchange between Hong Kong Business Associations in the region to cultivate deeper connections and business networking. The event is open to members of the 33 HK Business Associations under the Federation with active participation from members in Asia. The Asia Forum was successfully held consecutively in various cities in Asia - hosted by respective member associations: - 1st Asia Forum (2004) – Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) 2nd Asia Forum (2005) – Thailand (Bangkok) 3rd Asia Forum (2006) – Singapore 4th Asia Forum (2007) – Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) 5th Asia Forum (2008) – China (Guangzhou) 6th Asia Forum (2009) – Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) 7th Asia Forum (2010) – Singapore 8th Asia Forum (2011) – Thailand (Bangkok) 9th Asia Forum (2012) – Vietnam (Hanoi) 10th Asia Forum (2013) – Okinawa, Japan 11th Asia Forum (2014) – Singapore 12th Asia Forum (2015) – Bangkok, Thailand 13th Asia Forum (2016) – Singapore 14th Asia Forum (2017) - Philippines With the support from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc ( HKCCPI) played host to the 14th Asia Forum held on May 19-20, 2017 at the Solaire Resort, Manila, Philippines. PARTICIPANTS With HKCCPI as the host country this year, over 50 participants attended the14th Asia Forum, including 27 representatives from the Hong Kong Business Associations in Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Japan as follows: Japan Hong Kong Society Hong Kong-Singapore Business Association Hong Kong Business Association, Vietnam Thai- Hong Kong Trade Association Indonesia Hong Kong Business Association Hong Kong Business Association Cambodia Hong Kong Malaysia Business Association PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS Welcome Remarks Mr. Anthony Chan; President of Hong Kong Chamber of the Philippines Inc (HKCCPI) welcomed all participants to the14th Asia Forum Update on Hong Kong and HKTDC’s promotional activities Mr Peter Wong, Regional Director, Southeast Asia & India, Hong Kong Trade Development Council shared updates on Hong Kong and HKTDC’s promotional activities Mr. Wong emphasized the details of HKTDC’s promotional activities which helps Asian countries gain more opportunities for growth. Urbanization of China narrowed the gap between rural and urban areas which created more job opportunities for rural areas as well as for Hong Kong and other Asian nations. With technological upgrade, China’s consumer market had grown to be tech-savy and they relied on fintech and apps (e.g. payment by WeChat) to bring them comfort and convenience with various purchasing activities. Hong Kong had been strong in financial and risk management. China’s Belt and Road initiative was a visionary plan to boost global trade and economic development along +60 Belt and Road countries. HKTDCs strategy would focus on connectivity, trade and investment and financial integration etc.. Project owners and investors were welcome to make use of Hong Kong’s excellent professional services to seize the Belt and Road opportunities. . Discussion Session 1 - Initiatives and Activity Plans of Hong Kong Business Associations in 2017/2018 Members were invited to highlight major initiatives and activity plans for 2017/2018, how HKBAs could attract more young members and to explore the possibilities of establishing “Youth Group/sub chapter” and how to make use of the activities to explore the Asian markets, especially to capitalise the opportunities brought by One Belt One Road initiatives via Hong Kong platform Moreover, the following representatives from Japan Hong Kong Society, Hong Kong-Singapore Business Association, Hong Kong Business Association, Vietnam, Thai-Hong Kong Trade Association, Indonesia Hong Kong Business Association, Hong Kong Malaysia Business Association and Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce Philippines Inc. shared and discussed their achievements and activities in the past year. Discussion Session 2 - Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations- proposed election mechanism Hong Kong Business Association (HKBA) representatives from HKBAC, HKMBA, IDHKBA, HKCCPI, HKBAV, THTA, HSBA and JHKS attended the discussion moderated by Ms Vivienne Chee Director of HKTDC Limited Singapore Branch regarding the proposed new election system of the Federation. Ms Vivienne Chee started the session by introducing and explaining the proposed new election process and the goal to extend the term of office from two to three years to promote the development of more programmes for the Federation. Mr Peter Wong elaborated the extension of office term length to three years with a maximum of two terms of office. On its second term the incumbent might run for a different position. After explanation, the new election mechanism was well understood by respective HKBA Heads. Hence Mr. Peter Wong further solicited support from the HKBA representatives to vote for the new election mechanism during Hong Kong Forum 2017. Mr Anthony Chan (HKCCPI) commented that the new election system should be on rotation basis than by vote. It would give opportunity to other regions which would like to play a role as Office Holders. Nevertheless, he was reserved about changing the two-year term to three years. . Mr James Budiono (IDHKBA) shared the same idea as Mr Antony Chan. He added that the proposed rotation system was good as it would give more equal opportunity to all countries. Mr Osamu Saito (JHKS) commented that two years by rotation was a good proposal. Mr Dixon Chew (HKMBA) commented that the rotation system would be a more balanced system than election and that two-year term was optimal. Three-year term would be too long. Mr Danny Yu (THTA) commented that two-year term would be more suitable than the tree-year term. Mr Wilson Chu (HSBA) raised the possibility of having no interest from Asia and Australasia to participate. Ms Stella So (HKBAV) raised the question regarding the new rotation, that if each region has one representative, then who would occupy the fourth position. She also commented that two year term would be optimal. Mr. Yam (HKBAC) rose if America and Australasia should be grouped as one region under the system instead. The meeting achieved its purpose of updating the the proposed election mechanism to HKBA representatives in Asia and their feedbacks would serve as a reference for the Federation to review and adjust the proposed election system. Closing Remarks Mr Frank Co, Executive Vice President, Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce Philippines Inc. delivered the closing remarks Asia Forum Welcome Dinner Hosted by HKCCPI Mr.Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Undersecretary for the Industry Development of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI); Vice Chairman and Managing Head of the Board of Investments (BOI) attended the dinner and discussed about DTI-BOI assistance to foreign investors to venture and prosper in desirable areas of economic activities in the Philippines. Highlighting in his presentation the Philippine advantage, trade opportunities and other investment opportunities in our country Mr. Jin Yuan, Commercial Counsellor, The Chinese Embassy graced the Asia Forum dinner event Guided tour to Corregidor on the following day Corregidor Island was an island located at the entrance of Manila Bay in south western part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Due to this location, Corregidor has historically been fortified with coastal artillery and ammunition magazines to defend the entrance of Manila Bay and Manila from attacks by enemy warships in the event of war. During World War II, Corregidor played an important role during the invasion and liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces. Heavily bombarded in the latter part of the war, the ruins left on the island serve as a military memorial to American, Filipino and Japanese soldiers who served or lost their lives on the island. Corregidor was one of the important historic and tourist sites in the country. The delegates visited the Ruins, War Memorial, Malinta Tunnel and the Lighthouse at Corregidor.