Monday, 27 April 2015

Where's Our Vision?

Tung Chee-chen is impressed by Singapore outsmarting Hong Kong...
In the ongoing race between Hong Kong and Singapore, the Lion City has won the latest round in developing the most comprehensive hub for shipping and related business.

According to Tung Chee-chen, chairman of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), Hong Kong's strategy was leveraging its strengths in financial services and shipping support service to get more business.

However, Tung said, Singapore lured business away by targeting key companies."For example, Singapore has targeted many Norwegian companies, convincing them to set up offices in Singapore. With word of mouth, more Norwegian companies flocked in."

He added Singapore began this strategy after the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984 when there was uncertainty about Hong Kong's future.

Tung, who's older brother is former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, added he was struck by Singapore's forward-thinking in expanding its port infrastructure.

"I'm very impressed with the building of the port in the way that Singapore anticipated future growth," he said. "No other countries or ports in the world are contemplating similar investment. Singapore is pulling away from all its competitors."

While Tung is swallowing humble pie gracefully, we have to wonder what Hong Kong's leaders are thinking about when it comes to the city's future.

What plans do they have for Hong Kong 10, 20, 30 years from now? Are they even thinking that far ahead? Or should we really ask, is Beijing thinking that far into the future?

For a business leader to admit Hong Kong was outsmarted by Singapore is embarrassing to say the least.

This also echoes Hong Kong's tourism strategy, warmly welcoming mainland tourists and not searching new markets or wooing back other ones. And now with the slowdown in China, the city is caught flat-footed with the knock-on effect of fewer mainland visitors here and businesses suffering.

So what is our strategy? How is Hong Kong going to continue to thrive, especially in these turbulent times?


  1. Have you heard about HK's DIGITAL 21 strategy? It is about forward planning

    1. Hi Anonymous. I tried to read up on it but the government information was all tech catch phrases to make the administration sound like it was using the right lingo but no actual strategy. Unless I have that all wrong?

  2. Yes, their prose could be better, but then English is not HK's native language. So, careful reading +technology dictionary are required; after which you will discover several websites that explain: strategy, funding & financial incentives, encouraging HK entrepreneurs & SMEs to profit from ICT literacy. (ICT is Information & Communications Technology -- most profitable sector of stockmarket, according to everybody. Including HSBC).

    1. HI Anonymous -- How about you give us a quick summary since you know all about it? And HSBC? Not the most convincing bank to rely on these days...