Chairman of the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board and Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung (center), together with other government officials and representatives of the private sector officiate at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Maritime Week 2022, a major annual event of the maritime and port industries in Hong Kong, on Nov 21, 2022. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Hong Kong will develop an action plan to promote the city’s value-added logistics development integrating sea, air and land transport to strengthen its pivotal role in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area connectivity.
The remark was made by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu in the opening ceremony of Hong Kong Maritime Week 2022 through a recorded speech on Monday.
The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) champions Hong Kong’s status as an international shipping center that includes the development of high value-added maritime services for better integration into our country’s overall progress. And more specifically, Hong Kong’s role it plays in the development of a world-class port cluster
John Lee Ka-chiu,
This event from Nov 20 to Nov 26 showcases more than 40 conferences, seminars, receptions and other gatherings organized by 60 Hong Kong and international maritime industry organizations and professional bodies covering various maritime industry-related issues. Flagship activities such as the Asian Logistics Shipping and Air Freight Conference will be hosted on Tuesday.
ALSO READ: HKSAR to take lead in charting a greener, smarter shipping route
“The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) champions Hong Kong’s status as an international shipping center that includes the development of high value-added maritime services for better integration into our country’s overall progress. And more specifically, Hong Kong’s role it plays in the development of a world-class port cluster,” the chief executive said.
“We will launch a maritime services traineeship scheme next year targeting young people looking to maritime law for their future. Next year, we will also launch a new scheme for high value-added maritime services,” Lee highlighted.
The chief executive added that the government is setting up a port community system whereas there will be data-sharing among operators and other stakeholders to boost the competitiveness of Hong Kong port.
Hong Kong boasts of one of the world’s 10 busiest container ports, handling more than nearly 18 million TEUs in 2021. The city has some 270 weekly international container vessel sailings connecting to nearly 600 destinations worldwide, Lee said.
Nearly 900 shipping-related companies have established their presences in the city, ranging from ship broking management and charting to maritime finance and law and insurance.
Hong Kong is the world’s fourth largest shipping registry in terms of gross tonnage, with more than 2,400 ships with a gross tonnage of about 128 million tons. The government has established Hong Kong shipping registry regional desks in seven international cities.
Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung, who is also the chairman of the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board, said: “the government will continue to take measures to promote the development of the maritime industry, such as providing tax relief for shipping companies, developing smart ports, and Introduce new measures for manpower development in the maritime industry.”
READ MORE: HK govt throws weight behind maritime mediation
In July, the SAR government launched a new half-rate profits tax concessionary regime for qualifying commercial principals, shipping agents, shipping managers and shipbrokers, following earlier preferential tax regimes for ship leasing companies, ship leasing managers and marine insurance.
“According to a recent study by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, the maritime industry is estimated to contribute 3.7 percent of Hong Kong’s gross domestic product in 2020 and also contributed to 4.5 percent of the total employment in the same year,” Lam noted in the Monday ceremony.
In 2021, Hong Kong was the world’s sixth largest trading center, accounting for 3.1 percent of international merchandise trade, with nearly 90 percent of the volume of the city’s external merchandise trade to-date is carried by water, according to government statistics.
The SAR Government recently has ramped up to bolster the city’s competitiveness as a global shipping hub. The International Chamber of Shipping established its first overseas office in Hong Kong in 2019, while the Baltic and International Maritime Council listed Hong Kong as one of its four recognized arbitration venues in 2020.
The Maritime Week 2022 is organized by Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board, co-organized by Hong Kong Shipowners Association and Hong Kong Maritime Museum.