Europe Forum 2018


Europe Forum 2018
Rotterdam, the Netherlands

The 18th Europe Forum was held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands from 31 May – 1 June 2018, and was attended by chairmen and board members of 14 Hong Kong Business Associations from across Europe.

This year’s Europe Forum was hosted by the Netherlands-Hong Kong Business Association. Mr. Hans Poulis, Chairman of the Netherlands-Hong Kong Business Association opened the Forum by delivering the welcome remarks, followed by the opening remarks from Mrs. Jannelieke Aalstein, Deputy Director of Rotterdam Partners.

The meeting was then chaired by Dr. Esther Nägeli, Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide and President of the Swiss-Hong Kong Business Association.

Mr. William Chui, Regional Director of Europe of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, updated the members on the latest economic development in Hong Kong and on Chinese mainland, with a special focus on the major initiatives introduced by the SAR Government as well as the new economic developments including the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. He invited members to continue to make use of the Hong Kong platform to seize those new opportunities. Mr. Chui also highlighted the upcoming HKTDC events like Belt and Road Summit, ALMC, DesignInspire, AFF, Hong Kong Forum, etc. Since HKTDC recently appointed new Consultants in Manila, Riyadh, Almaty, Nairobi and Stockholm, Mr. Chui gladly updated all that HKTDC’s global network had expanded to 50 offices worldwide.

Besides, Mr. Chui briefed all on the new election system starting 2018. It had been agreed that all 4 Office Holder positions, namely Chairman, Vice Chairman, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary would be taken up by the elected candidates from the assigned regions on a rotation basis. According to the lots drawn at AGM2017, Europe would take up the post of Vice Chairman. Dr. Nägeli encouraged members to consider running for the post.

Also, in view of the enforcement of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe, Mr. Chui called for support from all Association heads and members to give their consent replies to stay on the mailing lists of the Federation and HKTDC. Hong Kong Business Associations were advised to consult local lawyers if there were any queries on the compliance of GDPR while doing promotions or recruitment work in the region.

Members were then invited to share their views on the European economy and its impact on Hong Kong and European businesses, as well as highlighting major activities for 2018/2019. They also shared the initiatives in recruiting more young members, especially on leveraging suitable start-up and social media platforms to connect them with Hong Kong.

Preceding Europe Forum, Rotterdam Partners and the Netherlands-Hong Kong Business Association kindly hosted all Hong Kong Business Associations’ representatives a networking reception and a welcome dinner, respectively. Europe Forum was concluded successfully by a luncheon hosted by the HKTDC, and the Association Heads would meet again at the annual Hong Kong Forum in December.