Highlights / Outcome of Australasian Forum Discussion Strategic Direction for HKBAs The latest development in HK / China presents enormous business opportunities. However, companies in Australia and New Zealand may not be aware and / or know how to tap into the opportunities. HKBAs can play a role in providing information, market intelligence and connecting those who are interested. Looking ahead, the three major areas are: Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Australian and New Zealand companies can collaborate with HK partners to get involved in BRI projects. It is recognised that some of the infrastructure projects are challenging and can be high-risk. In view of last year’s success, HKABA will once again lead a trade mission to the Belt and Road Summit to be held on 28th June 2018 in HK. A complimentary side program will be offered to members including visit to a local company, briefing session at Australian Consul General’s office and a harbour cruise. A number of seminar events by various Chapters are being planned to promote BRI and the Summit. Innovation / Start-ups There has already been collaboration between HK and Australia. An example is the MOU signed between FinTech Australia and HK FinTech Association. Australia has competitive advantage in certain aspects. A number of HK agencies including HK Science Park and Cyberport are supportive of further collaboration. Greater Bay Area The concept of Guangdong-Macao-HK Greater Bay Area is to become a city cluster. The development is very often compared to San Francisco Bay and Tokyo Bay. It not only presents a huge market with a population of 68 million, but also has the potential to become an innovation and technology hub. It is expected that further details will be available in the coming months. Corporate Governance & Structure High profile and well-connected Honorary Advisors and Patrons can elevate the image of HKBAs and extend the network. The idea of establishing a national board of Patrons was discussed with the final agreement to keep it on state level. The position of a second VP for the National Chapter will be created as additional resources. The initial thought is for the second VP to be responsible for sponsorship which is critical but not yet being coordinated well between national and state chapters. Proper corporate governance and succession planning is essential to HKBAs as professional organisation. There was robust discussion among participants. Election of Federation Office Holders This year is the election year for federation office holders. Lucinda Chan will have to step down in December according to the rules. She explained the new election process and encouraged nominations to be put forward. It is a great opportunity for someone from Asia / Australasia to take up the Chair position and contribute to further development of FHKBAW. Membership Members are the lifeblood of the HKBAs and the reasons for its existence. It has been challenging in trying to grow membership with many competing organisations and limited resources. Thus, it is important for HKBAs to have a strong value proposition and provide benefits to members. Participants shared their ideas and experience in this area. Examples included good networking events, member-get-member incentives. There was much discussion on membership renewal and how to streamline the process. Chapters Planning & Events All Chapters shared their plan and event calendar for the coming year. The Business Awards Gala Dinners will be the most prestigious events of the year. It has been agreed that State Business Awards would take place before the National Business Awards. The 2018 National Business Awards would include the state winners of 2017 and 2018. In addition, there will be seminars on BRI, innovation / start-up and topics deemed to be of interest to members as well as food & wine appreciation dinners. Beside mission to the Belt and Road Summit in June, HKBAs will also recruit members to attend HK Forum to be held in December. Meeting with His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia Delegates were invited to Government House for afternoon tea hosted by the Governor of South Australia. The Governor is a good friend / supporter of HK. He shared his views on the important role that HK has been playing and encouraged delegates to help connecting HK with South Australian companies. There was fruitful discussion and networking. Conclusion The annual Australasian Forum provides the platform for the participants to come together to voice out challenges and issues while brainstorming on ideas and solutions. They share the common goal of advancing the associations and connecting businesses. The delegates will then bring the ideas back to their respective chapter and share with committee members. Through networking with local government and business contacts, they also help to raise the profile of the association in the state chapter. All in all, it has been a successful forum.