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Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts
Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts
Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts
Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts
Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts
Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts
Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts
Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts
Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts
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Hong Kong - A City of Contrasts


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  • 1. HONG KONG This is an independent publication by Archimedia London MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2011A City of Contrasts
  • 2. A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T2 HONG KONG HONG KONG 3 GROWTH PROSPECTS ARE BRIGHTINSIDE THIS REPORTECONOMY Hong Kong’s growth is founded other emerging markets to list on solid economic fundamen- in Hong Kong. What advan- tals. What is your assessment tages does it offer? of the medium-term economic I believe this is good for stabil- outlook? ity. Any multinational will haveHong Kong is China’s biggest 4 If you try to analyse why Hong Kong has become so strong, what have been the ingredients of our to find the way to raise capital and put their anchor somewhere, and they have been putting theirtrading partner and helps fuel success, and then you look at the anchors in Wall Street and in thethe mainland’s growth durability of these ingredients, then City of London. Multination- one would come to the conclusion als want their assets traded on a CURRENCY that Hong Kong will remain pretty 24-hour basis. With Hong Kong’s 6 INTERVIEW prosperous in the medium term, if not in the long term. Our strength is derived first position in East Asia, we continue to trade while London and New York are sleeping. DONALD TSANG from our geographic location, And the liquidity pool in Hong being at the centre of East Asia, Kong is huge; it is huge, safe and HONG KONG the focal point of all economic free. Money can move in and HONG KONG’S CHIEF activities in the coming decades, out at the press of a button, so it Used increasingly for trade EXECUTIVE TALKS and in particular we are a part of provides safety as well. We [also] settlement, China’s yuan is on TO PETER DRENNAN fast-growing China. The second have a low-tax regime, they will the road to full convertibility The plans, aspirations and objec- ingredient is the infrastructural based on common law, as distinct be taxed a lot less than if they’re AND THE RISE OF ASIA strength of Hong Kong. This in- from the mainland. This is a very tives enshrined in that chapter in New York or London for thatC R E AT I V E I N D U S T R I E S cludes a critical mass of profes- important point. are Hong Kong’s own. We believe matter. As far as the supervision China’s sustained 11 sionals, particularly financial- economic boom that we are able to contribute to issue is concerned, the Hong services professionals. We have Is the ‘China factor’ Hong has been a boon national growth by being a global Kong standard is well known. most of the world’s largest banks Kong’s greatest competitive to Hong Kong. financial centre; a global centre We are not second to anybody in located in Hong Kong. We have a advantage? There are now some for trade, for finance, for shipping, terms of our regulatory regime, 800 mainland huge number of multinationals, This is perhaps the most impor- for aviation. And our strengths particularly if they want to trade As the centre of gravity in the global economy shifts to Asia, Hong Kong-based multinational more than 6,000. These are not tant factor in the coming decade firms established in the city. also lie in the new industries that with the mainland, and that is and China in particular, AAA-rated Hong Kong is right at the Jardine Matheson. “But we must transient, this happened over a as China continues to grow at we are nurturing or the communi- quite an important aspect. InThe city is fast becoming a hub never surrender our position as long period. If you understand a more or less breakneck pace, ties we are nurturing, including the past, bilateral trade wasfor product design, fashion, heart of the region. By Alejandro Reyes an international centre with a the strengths of London – it is not nearly double-digit every year. our education services, health mostly denominated, or wholly GETTY IMAGESfilmmaking, music and television tremendous platform for doing in the eurozone but it is still the We are part of the nation and services, testing and certification, denominated, in US dollars. Now, A business in Asia and the world.” focal point of euro transactions in our prosperity is seen by our Chi- and innovation and technology. because of the strength of the E X P LO R E t a June reception ing on the China market. This tide ber, Standard & Poor’s accorded Benjamin Hung, executive di- Europe – then you would come to nese leaders as a significant part Those things are really part and renminbi, some of it is denomi- for new or expanded of arrivals has made Hong Kong the SAR what might be the most rector and CEO of Standard Char- the conclusion that it is because of the national growth, because parcel of Hong Kong’s plans, but nated in that currency. Remark- 14 foreign companies, the chief executive of Hong Kong raised a toast to thank the third largest recipient of FDI in 2010, behind the US and mainland China. All the more remarkable prized accolade any financial centre can receive when for the first time the agency gave it a top tered Bank, agrees. “Through the crisis, Asia has been a strong leg [in the global economy], with Greater of the critical mass of financial experts who live in London. Here in Asia, they live in Hong Kong. we are able to do things which the nation itself cannot do, and the services we provide cannot now they are being incorporated into our national plan because it is not only good for Hong Kong, ably, of all the trade conducted in renminbi by China last year, more than 90% was settled and cleared some 350 executives for having is that this surge is happening AAA sovereign credit rating, citing China the locomotive. This region Then there’s another part of be delivered by any other city in it is good for the nation if these in Hong Kong. confidence in the city. In 2010, against the backdrop of the worst its economic flexibility and strong is fundamentally very strong, with the infrastructure, this includes the country. For instance, as an strengths continue to grow stron- There are now about 800 Donald Tsang noted, foreign direct global economic crisis since the fiscal position. metrics that many countries covet. our networking throughout offshore centre for renminbi, ger over time. mainland firms established in investment (FDI) in the special ad- Great Depression. The nine months since the Here there is zero debt, a huge the world and our networking the provision of a common-law Hong Kong, many of them as re- It’s hard to match this city’s ministrative region (SAR) of China Noteworthy, too, is that just 14 upgrade have proven just how surplus, strong foreign currency in mainland China. We are the jurisdiction and the use of a You have invited more com- gional headquarters. On the Hong mix of ancient traditions and reached US$68.9 billion, 32% years ago Britain returned Hong resilient and robust Hong Kong’s reserves, high capital ratios and number one investor there. We are convertible currency, which is far panies from the mainland and Kong Stock Exchange there are 21st century lifestyle more than in 2009. In the first half Kong to China, raising among economy is. Its recovery from the banks that are not overleveraged.” the number one investor in each more important in a well-trusted several hundred. Mainland firms of this year, nearly 200 overseas the city’s people and the inter- global recession has been stellar. The growth of intra-Asian trade and every province in China. So, economy. Hong Kong provides all listed in Hong Kong have a total and mainland Chinese enterprises national community fears for its GDP growth in the first quarter and the rise of domestic consump- if people want to do business in of these things. OF ALL THE TRADE CONDUCTED capitalization of nearly 12 trillion set up or expanded their opera- future. Soon after the handover, of 2011 was a remarkable 7.5%, tion in China are going to drive China, the location from where to Hong Kong dollars, that’s aboutThis supplement has been producedby Archimedia London Limited. tions in Hong Kong. “We want Hong Kong’s economy went into although in the second quarter significant new growth in the Hong enjoy the greatest experience will China’s latest five-year plan de- IN RENMINBI BY CHINA LAST £1 trillion. Over the years theyIt did not involve the reporting or you to stay and grow and prosper a tailspin as Asia suffered its own the pace of expansion moderated Kong economy, Mr Hung reckons. be Hong Kong. Another part of the infrastruc- votes a chapter to Hong Kong, what are the most significant YEAR MORE THAN 90% WAS have raised about HK$3 trillion in Hong Kong, this is what we can doeditorial staff of The Times and no with us,” Mr Tsang told his guests. financial crisis. to 5.1%. The outlook for the short Yet Hong Kong and its leadersendorsement is implied. “Your success is our success.” Yet the future turned out and medium terms is good, despite are not simply sitting back and ture is our legal system which is aspects outlined in the plan? SETTLED AND CLEARED HERE. for them. Among those Mr Tsang wel- far better than even the most concerns about the direction of waiting for the rise of Asia and comed was Bob Guard, who just a optimistic of Hong Kong’s fortune the global economy. China to give it a boost. In addition week earlier had opened the new tellers predicted. Last Decem- China and its own fast-growing to deepening its integration withFor information about working Hong Kong office of Wm Morrison, economy have, of course, been the mainland, Hong Kong is imple-with Archimedia, to discuss futurepublications, or to offer feedback on the UK’s fourth-largest supermar- the major factor in Hong Kong’s menting wide-ranging initiativesthis Hong Kong report, please contact: ket chain making its first foray into healthy rebound. But it is not just such as education reform and or call Asia. The company chose Hong about the mainland. frastructure projects, including thePeter Drennan on 020 8442 8202, Kong because of its location at Chi- “Hong Kong is at the centre of development of a district na’s doorstep, within easy flying the global market, with economic to arts and culture.Editor: Peter Drennan distance from all the main cities gravity shifting east towards “There is still quite a distinctFeature Directors: Caroline Steiner, in the region. “The availability of emerging Asia,” says Gregory So, difference between what we haveNicole Howarth diverse and high-calibre talent is Hong Kong’s secretary for com- achieved and stand for and ourReporter: John Maratheftis also an attraction,” said Mr Guard merce and economic develop- competitors around this region,”Photography: All original at the launch. “The ease of setting ment. “Mainland China will be the says Chief Executive Tsang. “Hongphotography by Zoltan Vogronics up a company in a legal system key growth driver for the global Kong’s strengths are there. very similar to the UK is another economy. Hong Kong is in the best have very resilient people who are(unless otherwise credited). important factor.” position to reap the benefits from totally free spirited and work veryDesign: Paul Lussier Location, talent pool, rule of the vibrant growth of Asia.” hard. They make a lot of law – these are among the three The China factor “is Hong on every aspect of city life, includ- factors most often cited by inves- Kong’s single most competitive ing the way in which the govern-Cover photo: The Po Lin Monastery tors who have flocked to Hong advantage,” says Anthony Night- ment is run,” he says. “There is aon Hong Kong’s Lantau Island Kong, mainly as a platform for tak- ingale, managing director of the continued search for excellence.”
  • 3. A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T4 HONG KONG HONG KONG 5 we don’t want to forget about the rest capital and people.” multinationals based in Hong Kong of Asia. If you look at Indonesia for Hong Kong, traditionally associ- and while FDI is at record levels, example, they have over 260 million ated with the financial services and InvestHK’s Mr Galpin says there are people so you’re talking about big logistics sectors, is now focusing on a still some challenges. PROPERTY BOOM markets there too. First timers from range of new areas to attract foreign Perhaps the biggest of these is Europe and the US going into these investment including public health, to convince smaller, high-growth DEFIES TRENDS markets need to find a base and a green and renewable energy, creative companies from overseas that Hong reliable partner to help mitigate the industries such as graphic and prod- Kong is a suitable base. “Some smaller risks and better understand what it is uct design, and education – the public companies assume that Hong Kong is all about. In Hong Kong we practice school Harrow will open Hong Kong’s only for big multinationals, but in fact M common law, we have open and first international boarding school it is very easy to set up here and we any residential property markets around the transparent regulatory systems and next year. are beginning to get a lot of UK SMEs world are stagnating or seeing falling values, but we have a free flow of information, There are currently over 6,000 setting up offices”. one is showing that price recovery can take on spectacular dimensions – Hong Kong. Average house prices rose nine-fold in the 20 years before the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. They then fell back sharply, losing four-fifths of their value in three years (1999- 2001) and were buffeted further by the trauma of 9/11 and the THE ‘CHINA FACTOR’ outbreak of the SARS respiratory disease. But for the past seven years average prices have risen again, with increasing steepness, so that today they are only slightly below their 1998 peak. Estate agency Knight Frank calculates that luxury home prices in July reached HK$21,600 (£1,698) IS A KEY COMPETITIVEREALISING ITS ADVANTAGE per square foot, some 14% higher than just one year earlier. Rents for similar top-end homes reached HK$49 per square foot in July, about 12% more than in 2010.GATEWAY POTENTIAL Four factors underpin Hong Kong’s residential sector INVESTMENT Global survey shows the sentiment boom. Firstly, interest rates are at a historical low – base rate is just 0.5% – encouraging borrowers wishing to buy. Secondly, and related, investment sentiment about the HK of major corporations. By Helen Jones economy is optimistic.W H A third factor is that established demand for homes has ECONOMY Hong Kong is China’s biggest trading hile Hong Kong’s econ- been boosted by more mainland Chinese buyers than ever ong Kong’s status within most importantly, its location. omy is surging thanks to seen before. They now account for some 30% of all sales, and the global economy is “Hong Kong is at the centre of China’s rise in the global partner and helps fuel the mainland’s growth via a two- this is expected to rise further in the near term. reflected in its record high East Asia. If you want to access op- marketplace, the main- “Expats prefer traditional areas such as Mid-levels and ranking as the third largest portunities elsewhere in the regionland’s fast growth is in large measure way investment channel. By Alejandro Reyes Southside. Investors like traditional areas for yield returns and recipient of global FDI flows.” then no other city can cover so manyfuelled by investment coming from or newly emerging areas for capital growth - Kowloon Station or Simon Galpin, director-general of In- business centres –Shanghai, Beijing,through Hong Kong. Central. Mainlanders are attracted by luxury developments, vestHK, Hong Kong’s department of Singapore or Kuala Lumpur – so eas- On a visit to Hong Kong in August, the city’s confidence after having weath- not to depend too much on reaping the mostly Kowloon. They often buy trophy assets for occasional foreign direct investment, has much ily from one location.”Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang an- ered the global economic crisis well. In benefits of the two-way flow of business use,” explains Simon Smith of estate agency Savills. to feel good about. Last year, for the But perhaps Hong Kong’s great-nounced a slew of measures meant to response to the crisis, Beijing made it even and investment. Just as Hong Kong’s A fourth factor is that there is a limited supply of homes first time, Hong Kong trailed only the est advantage is the “China factor,”bolster the city’s economy and deepen its easier for mainland residents to travel to manufacturing sector hollowed out in being built annually compared to the number of buyers; the US and China as a recipient of FDI. its unrivalled relationship with theintegration with the mainland. Among Hong Kong, sped up cross-border infra- the 1980s after the mainland opened its Hong Kong Housing Authority says new housing supply is According to the United Nations Con- mainland.them: plans to strengthen Hong Kong’s structure projects, and fast-tracked the doors and promoted economic zones forecast to be 13,000 units a year until 2016, with demand at ference on Trade and Development “We have been trading with therole as the main offshore renminbi growth of offshore renminbi business. along its coast, the SAR’s service indus- least 20% above. World Investment Report 2011, FDI rest of the world for over 100 years,centre and make it easier for companies By the end of July, 616 mainland tries could follow suit, unless it works This demand-supply imbalance is key, explains Denise hit a record HK$537 billion (US$68.9 but at the same time we were the firstregistered in the Special Administrative enterprises were listed on the Hong Kong to maintain its competitive advantages, Yam of Morgan Stanley’s Greater China economics team. She billion) up 31.5% from 2009. to go into mainland China the mo-Region (SAR), including the local units of Stock Exchange, accounting for 42% of focuses on developing cutting-edge busi- says: “The government responded to the Asian financial crisis “With Hong Kong positioned at ment it opened in 1979 which meansforeign enterprises, to expand their busi- all listed companies in the SAR and 55% nesses and climbs up the value chain. and asset market correction in the late 1990s with a massive the heart of Asia and as the gateway to that we are the only place with overness in the mainland. of the total market capitalization. The To this end, in 2009, Hong Kong shrinkage in housing supply. This supply has not been revived China, it is clearly benefiting from the 30 years’ experience in dealing with With Hong Kong’s GDP growth hum- mainland is Hong Kong’s biggest trading Chief Executive Donald Tsang identified again in reaction to the recovery in the Hong Kong economy, shift in economic interest to the east,” the mainland,” says Margaret Fong,ming along at more than 5% this year, partner, with two-way trade exceeding six industries as potential growth en- the improvement in investment sentiment, and the increased Mr Galpin adds. deputy executive director of the Hongthe package of initiatives was widely $230 billion in 2010. Half of China’s out- gines: education, medical services, green southward flow of consumption and investment.” Businesses seem to think so. Kong Trade Development Council.viewed not as any sort of urgent rescue ward direct investment either originated industries, innovation and technology, So is Hong Kong’s current residential market boom In a survey commissioned this This, she says, gives Hong Kong aprogramme but as solid evidence of in Hong Kong or went through Hong cultural and creative industries and test- just a bubble, likely to burst soon? No, according to Colin year by the global property consul- unique perspective: “For someoneBeijing’s support for the SAR’s role as Kong to other parts of the world. ing and certification. The latter alone Fitzgerald, managing director of Knight Frank’s Greater tancy CB Richard Ellis, Hong Kong from a different culture it would bean international financial, shipping and “It is very important that the contributed $653 million to the Hong China team. “The possibility of a significant drop is slim, ranks as the most popular location difficult even to know where to start,trading centre and the central govern- world understands that Hong Kong is Kong economy in 2009, up from $577 although sales volumes are likely to for global business with 68.2% of the who to talk to and what you arement’s intention to strengthen coop- international, that we serve not just the million the year before. be lower in the short term amid cur- world’s major companies having a looking for. This is the Hong Kongeration, in particular by helping Hong mainland market but very much the “Even in a financial tsunami, we rent stock market volatility and the presence in the city as a regional hub. advantage; we understand both SkyscrapersKong’s emerging industries extend their Asian market and, for the mainland, we experienced growth in that industry,” dominate the limited government’s determination to curb “Hong Kong is attractive to markets and we have the talentbusiness in the mainland. serve the world,” Ms Fong says. notes Gregory So, Hong Kong’s secretary land for building. the property price surge.” international businesses due to its already trained in both.” “The China factor certainly is Hong Hong Kong’s critical challenge is for commerce and economic develop- location, lack of foreign ownership Among the companies to haveKong’s competitive advantage be- ment. “This industry assures overseas restrictions and its international and benefited from Hong Kong’s exper-cause the whole world is looking at the buyers of the quality and safety of prod- highly skilled workforce. It is the key tise, Ms Fong says, is L’Occitane, themainland,” says Margaret Fong, deputy ucts sourced in the region.” city for accessing China and is set to French skincare brand which startedexecutive director of the Hong Kong Mr So believes that as China adopts benefit most from the gradual liber- with a handful of shops in HongTrade Development Council. “What is testing and certification standards and alisation of the Chinese financial-ser- Kong – it now has 22 there and 71 inless well known is that while Hong Kong requires systems to enforce them, Hong vices market,” says CBRE’s director of mainland China as of July. “Some 22.7has benefited enormously from having Kong professionals can be at the fore- research, Edward Farrelly. million mainland tourists visit us andmainland China as our hinterland market, front of providing them. Hong Kong’s success, Mr Galpin they see quality goods here. Once athe mainland has also been the major des- By promoting these emerging indus- adds, is founded on its long-estab- brand is successful here, they go totination for our investment for 30 years.” tries and strengthening its advantages in lished reputation as a global ship- the mainland and it takes off. This Hong Kong is the number one inves- education and infrastructure, Hong Kong ping, trade and financial centre, its applies to all lifestyle brands.”tor in the mainland – over US$492 can maintain its competitiveness not just infrastructure, its transport links, its But Ms Fong says that Hongbillion by the end of June, or 44% of as a gateway for China but as the thriv- ability to attract talented individuals Kong’s appeal goes beyond its rela-China’s total foreign direct investment. ing service economy it already is, with from around the world, its entre- tionship with China. That mutual benefit is fuelling Hong capabilities beyond its tried and tested preneurial spirit and its legal system “We want to think of Hong KongKong’s economic surge and is renewing competencies in financial services. based on common law, but perhaps as Asia’s international business hub,
  • 4. A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T6 HONG KONG HONG KONG 7 A GLOBAL LEADER FOR RAISING CAPITAL CURRENCY Used increasingly for trade settlement, China’s yuan is on the road to full convertibility.ROBUST RENMINBI IPOS City emerges as a major player in the highly Prof. Chan points to other reasons There is also the size and depth of And Chinese companies are likely why Hong Kong will continue to at- the Hong Kong market which, largely to continue seeking a Hong Kong IPO competitive market for fundraising by international tract international IPOs: its role as the because of the number of Chinese as a stepping stone to expanding intoGAINS WORLD’S companies, writes Jonathan Gregson premier financial centre for Asia and for China, confidence in its financial companies that have launched IPOs and are listed there, means that global markets, especially now that the “China Gap” – the difference between I regulation, a legal tradition based on capital markets – including the stock Hong Kong and the mainland in termsACCEPTANCE n recent years Hong Kong’s stock less, big names like the Italian luxury English common law and widespread market – are many times larger than of the pricing of the renminbi, corpo- exchange has become a global goods group Prada, US luggage-maker use of English. These are, he says, “the would be needed for the size of the rate governance, transparency and leader for companies seeking to Samsonite and Rusal – the world’s larg- fundamental strengths of Hong Kong.” local economy. accounting standards – is narrowing. raise new capital through initial est aluminium producer and the firstA public offerings, or IPOs. Much of this Russian company to choose Hong Kong t an April summit on the middle of 2010 has been new business has traditionally come – all launched their IPOs. the Chinese island remarkable. In the first quarter from mainland Chinese enterprises The rationale for choosing a Hong of Hainan, the lead- of 2011, China’s cross-border seeking a Hong Kong listing, yet over Kong listing varies from one company ers of the informal trade settlement amounted to the past 18 months more internation- to the next, but most cite their interestgroup of countries known as RMB360 billion (£35.1 billion), al companies, including global brands in raising their corporate profile in keythe BRICS – Brazil, Russia, or 7% of the total, up from 5% in such as Prada and Samsonite, have markets (namely China), along withIndia, China and South Africa – the previous quarter. Banking chosen Hong Kong over local bourses. confidence in Hong Kong’s regulationagreed to conduct more of their giant HSBC expects more than “We have had more IPOs than any and financial infrastructure, its open-trade in their own currencies. half of China’s total trade with other market for two years in a row,” ness to free markets, and the potentialWhile this accord may have emerging markets to be settled says Prof. K.C. Chan, Hong Kong’s Sec- price premium for their shares com- REUTERSbeen more symbolic than sub- in renminbi within the next retary for Financial Services and the pared with the other main IPO markets.stantive, it is likely to promote two to four years. By the end Treasury, adding that the total market Prada shares were priced at 28the growing use of the Chinese of August, RMB88 billion in is “quite instrumental” to developed to such a stage that expected to reach RMB1 trillion value of companies listed on the times forecast earnings – a premium to with a RMB6 billion issue.renminbi in trade settlement, bonds had been issued in Hong China’s strategy of allowing its the internationalisation of its by the end of this year. This exchange is nearly 10 times larger than their peer group – raising US$2.6 bil- China’s plans to establishespecially by countries with Kong this year, data gathered by enterprises [to] go global as a currency is an inevitable event,” rapid growth has opened the Hong Kong’s gross domestic product. lion (£1.6 billion), though most went to Shanghai as an internationalwhich China is the biggest trad- Thomson Reuters indicate. way for them to become more explains He Guangbei, vice way for the introduction of an Last year saw a record 114 compa- institutional investors as local take-up financial centre by 2020 suggesting partner or in which it is the According to Charley competitive at home, especially chairman and chief executive increasing range of renminbi- nies raising HK$445 billion (£35.2 was lukewarm. Samsonite’s US$1.25 that Beijing aims to achievelargest investor. Song Lin, chairman of China as the Chinese economy opens of Bank of China (Hong Kong). denominated investment ve- billion) on the HKSE, according billion IPO was launched in a market full convertibility of the yuan The expansion of offshore Resources (Holdings) Co., further to foreign participation. “Without it, development of hicles in Hong Kong, including to accountancy group Pricewater- that was 5% off over the month and, by then. For that to happen,renminbi business since internationalising the RMB “The Chinese economy has the Chinese economy may an increasing number of debt houseCoopers, which predicted that although priced at the lower end of the “the internationalisation of the be confined.” More and more issues, now widely referred to Hong Kong would be among the top anticipated range on a price/earnings renminbi is a must because you Chinese businesspeople will use as “dim sum” bonds. IPO rankings again in 2011, although ratio of 18, still fell sharply on the first would need to have internation- renminbi when they go abroad Hong Kong “can act as a test overall volumes would be down as part day of trading. Similarly, Glencore’s al recognition before it could to invest, Mr He predicts. “This ground for internationalisation of the current global trend. secondary listing in Hong Kong has become the third reserve cur- provides us with a lot more busi- of the renminbi,” because it is But it is the emergence of Hong been trading below its debut price. rency,” says Peter Wong, chair- ness opportunities.” an established international Kong as a major player in the intense- But then the same has been true man of HSBC Bank (China) Expanding the use of the financial centre and has the ly competitive market for fundraising of recent IPOs launched in London Co. Global financial conditions renminbi for trade settle- necessary infrastructure, Bank by global corporations – where it and New York. As Norman Chan, CEO indicate that the time is right ment and foreign investment of China’s Mr He says. has been winning market share from of the Hong Kong Monetary Author- for this logical step. “Because is essential to driving the Adds Benjamin Hung, more established centres like London ity, notes, the pricing depends on the of the depreciation of the US global liquidity of the currency executive director and CEO and New York – that is focusing the “prevailing sentiment of the time,” dollar and the financial issues that is needed to support full of Standard Chartered Bank: attention of both CEOs and the in- while he is proud that “there were no that Europe is facing, suddenly convertibility, a long-term goal “Hong Kong serves as both vestment banks that advise them. In hiccups” because the market infra- it looks like China is coming up,” of China. For the renminbi to experimental ground and a the first half of this year, capital raised structure was there. “The payment Mr Wong notes. be fully convertible, it has to firewall. We run trials, and if by foreign companies on the HKSE system, the cheque clearing, electronic Renminbi deposits in Hong be widely traded around the the outcomes are less than reached HK$105.5 billion, equivalent subscription, everything worked ac- Kong shot up from less than world, used by Chinese to make ideal, we change. Hong Kong to more than half of the total proceeds cording to plan,” – even with a totally RMB50 billion at the end of investments overseas and by has a unique role that no other raised on the exchange. new product such as the first IPO 2009 to over RMB400 billion foreign investors inside China, geography can take on.” But the extreme volatility of global denominated in China’s renminbi. at the end of 2010. They are and held as a reserve currency markets over the summer has forced by central banks. some international companies, like The size and depth of the Hong Hong Kong is playing a cen- US accessory group Coach or fash- Kong market has been greatly tral role in the RMB’s interna- THINK ASIA, ion house Jimmy Choo, to postpone boosted by the number of Chinese tionalisation. Seven years ago, Hong Kong THINK HONG KONG plans for Hong Kong IPOs. Nonethe- companies that have listed there. monetary authorities began The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is or- allowing individuals to hold ganising a major Hong Kong promotion – “Think renminbi bank deposits. About 18 months later, corporations Asia, Think Hong Kong” – in London, Leeds and were allowed to do so. In July Edinburgh this week. More than 40 Hong Kong 2007, with the green light from partners and British organisations will take part in the Chinese Central Bank, the week-long event, the focal point of which is a China Development Bank is- symposium and series of seminars bringing togeth- sued the first renminbi-denom- er business leaders to discuss trends and business inated bonds in Hong Kong, opportunities across Asia. In addition, HKTDC will totalling RMB5 billion. The run a separate forum in Cambridge for Hong Kong Bank of China and other main- and British businesses in the technology sphere. land commercial banks fol- The Hong Kong Tourism Board too will host a lowed. Two years later, HSBC street carnival and a food and wine promotion and issued RMB1 billion in bonds to institutions, while the Bank of will be working with the Hong Kong Film Develop- East Asia sold bonds retail. In ment Council and the British Film Institute to October 2009, China’s Finance showcase Hong Kong cinema in London. Ministry launched its first sale To find out more about ‘Think Asia, Think Hong of sovereign renminbi bonds Kong’ visit
  • 5. A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T8 HONG KONG HONG KONG 9 ALVIN LEUNG Left: Zhang Xiogang’s triptych oil painting ‘Forever Lasting Love.’ Below: A rare pair FOOD Finding innumerable innovative ways to please people’s of cloisonné and champlevé enamel gilt-bronze circular ‘chun’ boxes and covers. palates, this chef has grand designs on London. DELIVERS Bottom left: ‘Self-Portrait’ by Zeng Fanzhi. Kong and Taiwan. expected under Leung’s orchestration. “Many Chinese buyers begin with A starter of oysters, spring onion and ‘X-TREME Chinese art because they are familiar ginger may take inspiration from a clas- with the subject matter and they wish sic Cantonese dish that’s served sizzling to own rare and exquisite art from hot in a casserole pot but is reimagined CUISINE’ their own culture,” says Mr Stone. as a chilled amuse bouche with a slip- “However, they have been active in pery mollusc rested on a ceramic spoon, other collecting categories. They have slicked in lime sauce, dusted with flash- shown increasing interest in contem- frozen ginger “snow” and enveloped in SOTHEBY’S porary art, where we saw nearly 60% a sea spray-like white mist. In another of successful buyers being Chinese.” fanciful concoction, Leung grinds sun- Further growth in the Hong Kong dried shrimp (har mi in Cantonese) into Bustling Wan ChaiART IN THE CITY art and collecting events such as the In the past, Chinese classical market is expected when the autumn a fragrant sauce and tosses it with chilli Hong Kong Art Fair, the Hong Kong sales begin this month and next. Sothe- is where Bo Innovation, oil over thin, handcrafted noodles. On paintings and ceramics were highly the creation of ‘Demon Art & Antiques Fair and numerous art sought after by Western collectors, by’s is offering iconic pieces of Impe- Chef’ Alvin Leung, the side, a Carabinero shrimp sashimiBIDDING BATTLES shows and gallery exhibitions also help and while they still buy these pieces, rial Chinese porcelain, contemporary can be found. His lies flat on its belly with the head to draw global collectors.” they are facing intense competition Chinese art and a collection of jade and experimental cooking wrapped in a crispy wonton sheet filled is a contemporary take GRAHAM UDEN (2) He adds that buying is particularly from Chinese buyers. Chinese col- jewels, including a pink diamond ring with sweet shrimp roe mousse. on traditional Chinese strong by clients from China, Taiwan lectors are buying back some of their with an estimate of US$19 million. On paper, Leung reached the zenith dishes. Below, the and Hong Kong who contributed heritage: at Christie’s spring sale of Meanwhile, Christie’s will be sell- chef himself. in 2008 when the inaugural MichelinART From contemporary a mere US$2.9 million. close to 70% of the total sales value traditional Chinese art more than ing a collection of rare and vintage Hong Kong guidebook awarded his I But it’s not just contemporary during the spring sales. 90% of buyers were from China, Hong wines. —Helen Jones restaurant two stars. But the irrever-art to calligraphy, art that is exciting buyers at auc- n the kitchen, Alvin Leung Jr is eas- ent chef asserts that the best is yet tojewellery and wine, tion houses in Hong Kong. Christie’s ily recognisable by the sunglasses come. “Bo is always evolving and in the spring sale series in May included he sports year-round, piercings and last year and a half I’ve finally [found] auction houses thrive contemporary and modern art, his black, sleeveless chef’s jacket what I feel is the correct way of build- classical paintings and calligraphy, that reveals the tattoos on his arms. ing a menu,” he says.A jewellery and wine and raised US$515 With this getup, he may not immedi- Leung is quick to attribute Bo’s t Sotheby’s packed Hong million – up 68% from the same ately strike you as the sort of haute cui- success to his staff, citing the high Kong auction room one period last year. sine chef lauded by culinary authori- calibre of chefs that have emerged evening in April, prospec- Francois Curiel, president of ties such as France’s Michelin Guide. from the restaurant. Adeline Grattard, tive buyers battled it out for Christie’s Asia, says: “Strong bidding Yet, when it comes to contemporary his former chef de cuisine, went on to105 pieces of contemporary Chinese with moments of passionate enthusi- cooking in Hong Kong’s cut-throat win a Michelin star of her own withart from a collection amassed by Baron asm was the hallmark of the week dining scene, his name crops up more her fusion restaurant YamT’Cha inGuy Ullens of Belgium. of spring auctions.” frequently than anyone else’s. Paris. And just last year, Chris Keung, “The combination of quality, rarity Sotheby’s Hong Kong spring sales Having received no formal culinary his senior sous chef, was awarded theand extraordinary provenance led reached US$447 million across a range training, the London-born, Canada- Young Chef of the Year title at the Santo extended bidding battles amongst of categories. Says Kevin Ching, CEO raised “demon chef” – a nickname he Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Italy.prospective buyers. Buyers were from of Sotheby’s Asia: “Over eight days, we coined himself after getting tired of be- Having firmly established his statusall corners of the world,” says Evelyn offered more than 3,600 lots across ing called the “rock n’ roll chef” – cites in Hong Kong’s restaurant industry,Lin, Sotheby’s head of contemporary eight different collecting categories his mother as one of his inspirations. the 50-year-old Chef is ready to exportAsian art, who describes the sale as and every day we saw records broken.” Only instead of cheerful memories his brand of avant-garde Chinese cui-“the highlight of my career.” Christie’s Mr Curiel says Asia of delicious homecooked meals, he sine to the international market. His The star of the show was “Forever is becoming the focal point for the describes his mother as a horrible cook first overseas venture is set for LondonLasting Love,” a triptych oil painting international art market. “The growth who made instant noodles several and will be unveiled either by the endof semi-naked figures by the Chinese of the art market in Asia is greater times a day. “My mother couldn’t cook of this year or next spring. What canartist Zhang Xiogang which had an than anywhere in the world. This is so I had to learn.” diners expect from this flagship res-estimate of US$3.2 million (£1.97 due to the strength of the economy What started as necessity turned taurant? Largely the same as Bo Hongmillion), but eventually sold, after and also to the great appetite of Asian into a passion. An engineer at the time, Kong, Leung explains, “something thatfevered bidding, for US$10.1 million collectors for quality works of art.” cooking remained just a hobby until people will find fascinating but also– a record for contemporary Chinese A report published in March by the 2003, when he was given the oppor- something people will enjoy.”art. The entire Ullens collection sold Netherlands-based European Fine Art tunity to take over a 20-seat private Bo Innovation Shop 13, 2/F, J Resi-for US$54.8 million – far beyond the Foundation showed that China is the kitchen called Bo Innoseki. Looking dence, 60 Johnston Rd, Wan Chai, +852estimated US$16.7 million, and a sign second biggest art market in the world back, Leung acknowledges that he was 2850 8371; www.boinnovation.comof the growing interest in the sector. In after the US, fuelled by the growing uncertain then about becoming a full- Dorothy So is the food and drinks2004, when Sotheby’s held its first sale number of US dollar billionaires – time chef, mostly because of concerns writer for Time Out Hong Kong www.of contemporary Chinese art, it raised which doubled this year to 115. Wealthy over how diners would respond to his Chinese investors are turning experimental food. His worries were to the art market. Several short-lived and in his first year at Bo Chinese financial institutions Innoseki, he was awarded a stunning have set up funds to invest in five-star review by the South China Chinese art and Chinese cor- Morning Post. porations are building their Growing attention from the press own art collections. Hong and public was sufficient confirma- Kong, which is already home tion for Chef Leung, and in 2005 he to the world’s leading auction opened his first proper restaurant, Bo houses, is well located to take Innovation on Ice House Street in the advantage of this growing Central District (the restaurant has Chinese interest. since moved to a larger 60-seat venue CHRISTIES IMAGES LIMITED 2011 (2) Jonathan Stone, chair- in jazzy Wan Chai). It was in this arena man and international head that Leung fully developed his iconic of Asian art for Christie’s, brand of “X-treme Chinese cuisine” – a says: “Hong Kong has now unique, cross-genre mode of cooking firmly established itself as a that blends familiar age-old recipes major art and auction hub in with modern aesthetics and innovative the world, in the same way as methods of culinary execution. New York and London. Other Dishes never appear quite as
  • 6. A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T10 HONG KONG HONG KONG 11 TWO OPTIONS ARE TABLED CREATIVE INDUSTRIES A ‘cultural capital,’ the city is fast becoming a hub for product design, fashion, filmmaking, music and television, supported by public policies, writes Gary Jones FOR AIRPORT’S GROWTH slowdown in global demand for manufactured goods. industries,” says John Slosar, Cathay Pacific’s CEO. “Hong Kong is home to about 3,500 regional to small creative companies; we greatly reduce barriers to entry.” Creative entrepreneurs operat- ing in Hong Kong cite a variety of Despite this blip, the indica- Michael Young’s eponymous reasons for the city’s attractive- tions for long-term growth in Hong Kong remain positive. Between June and September corporate headquarters, employ- ing about 140,000 people, probably more now ... But Seoul plans to have CREATIVE CLUSTER product-design operation set up in Hong Kong in 2006, hav- ing migrated from London via ness, including synergy between likeminded ventures and indi- viduals, the rule of law and strong I the Airport Authority opened a five runways by 2020, there’s a new Iceland, Belgium and Taiwan. intellectual property protection, public consultation process on the airport opening in Bangkok, there’s n a 2003 policy address, Tung Hong Kong is dominated by small The award-winning designer, and business-friendly taxation — two proposals, so residents and a new terminal being built in Taipei, Chee Hwa, then Hong Kong’s and medium size enterprises.” originally from Sunderland, now corporate profit tax has a ceiling of businesses could give their views. Singapore is expanding. I think, ar- chief executive, said the gov- Andrew Davis, associate boasts an impressive client list 16.5%, there are no import duties The authority is currently evaluat- guably, Hong Kong has got the top ernment would “inject a new director-general of InvestHK, is that includes Lacoste, EOps, or goods and services tax. ing the responses, incorporating position now but you can’t ignore dimension and vigour into our enthusiastic. “It’s cheap and easy Artemide, Schweppes and Georg Being able to attract and them into its final proposal to the the competition around you.” economy by actively promoting to start a business here, and it’s a Jenson. “There’s a hyperactivity employ creative staff internation- government later this year. Cathay Pacific is not the only creative industries.” melting pot of creative people and in Hong Kong that you rarely find decision, moving to Hong Kong to ally is also an advantage. Today, “If you’re looking at demand Hong Kong-based airline to advo- Since then – and reinforced by ideas in everything from phone elsewhere,” he says. “Creative build Cipher, an upmarket sneaker Mr Young’s company employs by 2030, around that time, we’re cate a three-runway future in sup- current Chief Executive Donald apps to computer graphics.” things happen quickly here.” and urban lifestyle brand that has people from Norway, Australia, going to be saturated,” says Stanley port of its dynamic growth plans. Tsang in 2009 – a number of ini- According to Mr Davis, Hong Mr Young says Hong Kong proved popular with musicians, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong. Hui, the Airport Authority’s CEO. Over the past four years, Hong tiatives have seen the city become Kong currently has 32,000 com- has three key advantages over its artists and celebrities. Mr Thomp- “Hong Kong attracts free-spirited “Now, do you want to go forward? Kong Airlines has developed from a hub for a sector that covers film, panies operating in the creative competitors: the high concentra- son believes Hong Kong has the and creative types,” he says. Obviously, there’ll be certain costs an operator of primarily regional graphics, architecture, industrial sphere. They employ 176,000 tion of entrepreneurs, a strategic ingredients to foster creativity and Hong Kong’s proximity to and implications for doing that services to mainland Chinese cities design, electronic entertainment, people and account for HK$60 location and the fact that it’s a entrepreneurship. “Hong Kong is a mainland China has also worked so the community has to really into a global airline, serving des- animation, fashion, art, music, billion (£4.7 billion), or about 4% thriving international port. “My frontier and the centre of a global to its advantage. “Hong Kong consider them and tell us whether tinations such as Moscow, Tokyo, television and more. of gross domestic product. There clients are split roughly 50-50 economic and cultural shift.” creative industries have an edge they think it’s worthwhile. This is a Osaka and Singapore. In January, “Creative industries have is considerable opportunity for being from China and Europe. But why not London, New York, in the mainland because of its piece of infrastructure that’s going the airline was given a four-star been identified as one of the six growth given that the sector ac- Those from overseas do see Hong Paris, or other cities that are consid- proximity to the market in terms Top left: to affect everybody in Hong Kong rating by SKYTRAX. economic areas with high growth counts for approximately 8% and Kong as an epicentre, and most ered the world’s fashion capitals? The Meridian of location and cultural back- so I think it’s only fair that they be “It is of vital importance for the potential,” says Jerry Liu, who 7% of GDP respectively in the US have offices here. Hong Kong is a “Hong Kong is a fashion capital, this bag from Cipher. ground,” says Mr Liu. “With theAVIATION The government is weighing given the opportunity to look at it, economy and to the very survival heads up Create Hong Kong, an and the UK. crossover city, a gateway city for is a cultural capital,” Mr Thompson Top: Cipher’s implementation of Closer Eco- HKIA understand the implications and of Hong Kong as an aviation hub,” agency set up in 2009 to drive the But it’s a work in progress, Mr China, for Vietnam, for the Philip- says. “Hong is so international, with The RADIAL nomic Partnership Arrangement,options for a major redevelopment express their opinion.” Yang Jian Hong, president of Hong creative sector, nurture talent Davis adds. “It’s not about putting pines and the rest of Asia.” people from everywhere all mixing shoe and Michael Young’s the mainland has become anproject to serve the future, writes Last year’s 23% increase in cargo volumes – due mainly to continued Not surprisingly, the fast- growing Hong Kong-based airlines Kong Airlines, agrees. “Based on our order books and explore new markets. “The landscape of creative industries in money in, it’s about taking costs out. What we do is more useful In 2007, Canadian Collin Thompson took a life-changing together. It’s what the world is go- ing to look like in 50 years.” new Hacker watch. increasingly important market for Hong Kong’s creative industries.”Philip Butterworth-Hayes growth in Chinese trade and Cathay want to see a third runway, not just alone, expansion is required. China Pacific’s rise to become the largest to ensure that the four pillars of the is experiencing 15% growth year-B Hong Kong international air-cargo carrier – International region’s economy can be developed, on-year and this is 3.5 times faster y the end of this year Air- gers and 4.1 million tonnes of cargo saw the airport overtake Memphis is the world’s but to ward off increasing competi- than in the rest of the world. We are port Authority Hong Kong last year) – but limit any further International as the world’s busiest busiest air tion from neighbouring hubs. seeing load factors of 80% to 85%. will deliver to the govern- growth to within the confines of cargo hub. For the first six months cargo hub and “Aviation is really the hard The incentive to travel is enormous the 11th busiest ment its preferred option the current airport. of 2011, passenger numbers have ground on which these pillars are in the Chinese market. We see the passengerfor a major redevelopment of Hong Option two is far more ambi- continued their inexorable rise – up airport. supported. If you didn’t have avia- mainland as a catchment area andKong International Airport. tious. This HK$86.2 billion plan 5.7%. Freight volumes, however, tion growth available you would not Hong Kong as a springboard to the The government’s decision would expand the airport from two have fallen 2.3%, reflecting a have the strength in those service rest of the world.”on how, or whether, the airport to three runways, so that HKIAwill grow beyond 2020 will have would be able to handle up to 97 EDUCATION SYSTEM IS IN A CLASS OF ITS OWNprofound consequences for the million passengers and 8.9 millioneconomic prospects of the region. tonnes of cargo by 2030.According to the Geneva-based Option one would effectivelyInternational Air Transport Asso- put a cap on aviation growth after While some dons dismiss president since 2009. “We regarded PISA, the Program education. “We need peopleciation, aviation employs 250,000 2020, if demand for air services them as gimmicks not based started out making the right for International Student As- with entrepreneurial spirit,people and supports 8% of Hong grows at current rates, but would on sound research, universi- decision to be a research sessment, conducted by the creativity and flexibility. Our ties eagerly await the results university. We hired the best Organisation for Economic knowledge base is very, veryKong’s gross domestic product. satisfy many of the environmental of annual quality rankings. In people from around the world. Cooperation and Develop- important.”The airport sits at the heart of objections to developing the air- Top educational institu- May, the global career and And we have good support ment. PISA tests about half athe “four pillars” which dominate port further. Option two would en- education network company from society and the govern- million 15-year-old students in tions around the world, suchHong Kong’s economy: financial sure that the phenomenal growth Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ment.” HKUST’s international over 70 countries and econo- as Yale and the Kellogg Schoolservices, trading and logistics, rates seen at the airport could issued its latest list of the outlook and location in Hong mies around the world to of Management at North-tourism and professional services. continue, if the market remains best 200 universities in Asia. Kong, a global city that is part evaluate their ways of thinking western University in the US, There are two options on the positive, at least until 2030. At the top for the first time of China, have also been keys and working and their career have recognised Hong Kong’stable. Option one, costing HK$23.4 Over the past 10 years, the was the runner-up in 2010, to its success, Professor Chan readiness. success and have establishedbillion (£1.85 billion), is to main- airport has benefited from the huge The Hong Kong University reckons. The rise of Asia and In its 2009 report released facilities in the city or set uptain the existing two-runway sys- economic growth in the nearby cit- of Science and Technology China in the global economy last year, Hong Kong ranked programmes or joint ventures (HKUST), which was followed set the stage. first in reading literacy and to serve local students andtem but develop the terminal and ies of mainland China. “One-third by last year’s number one, The fact that three out five third in both mathematics and others from around the region.apron facilities to increase HKIA’s of our traffic is transit/transfer the University of Hong Kong of the highest-ranked institu- science. The study identified Elite school Harrow willcapacity to handle a maximum and for a large proportion of that (HKU). National University of tions on the list are located the SAR, which offers 12 years launch the first internationalof 74 million passengers and six the origin is the Pearl River Delta,” Singapore and the University in the Special Administrative of free schooling, as having boarding and day school inmillion tonnes of cargo a year by says Eva Cheng, the secretary for of Tokyo took the third and Region (SAR), “reflects well one of the world’s top-flight Hong Kong in September2030 (from 50.9 million passen- transport and housing. fourth spots. Fifth was The on Hong Kong’s whole educa- education systems, along 2012. Kellogg’s executive Chinese University of Hong tion policy,” adds Professor with South Korea, Singapore, MBA programme, run in Kong. Chan. “We are only a city of Finland, Canada, Japan, New partnership with HKUST, is The results caused a minor seven million people.” Zealand and Shanghai. consistently ranked among the stir in Hong Kong because up- Hong Kong typically These results reflect top such programmes in the start HKUST, celebrating only performs well not just in rank- Hong Kong’s investment in world.—AR its 20th anniversary this year, ings of universities but also in education, which accountsIT IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE FOR THE eclipsed centenarian HKU, the studies of education system for a quarter of governmentECONOMY AND TO THE VERY SURVIVAL oldest university in the city. quality such as the highly spending. “We put money into “It shows what a young education and that defi-OF HONG KONG AS AN AVIATION HUB.’ university like ours can achieve nitely reflects our priorities,” if we do things right,” says Pro- explains Michelle Li, Hong fessor Tony Chan, HKUST’s Kong’s deputy secretary for
  • 7. A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T12 HONG KONG HONG KONG 13FILMMAKING FLOURISHES TECHNOLOGY GAINS TRACTION 4% growth over 2008, so even dur- “We are expanding the Science HONG KONG FILM ing the financial [crisis] we were increasing expenditure.” Park,” says Mr So. “We are build- ing a new phase – phase three – Left: Aarif Lee picked WEEK IN LONDON Located on Hong Kong Island, Cyberport – a US$2 billion project focusing on green technology that is really cutting edge.” up a Hong Kong Film This week, five films over five nights will covering 24 hectares and wholly One US company already Award for his moving showcase the kind of diversity that has long owned by the Hong Kong govern- benefiting from the location is role. Below: Buzz Chung pretending to be an seen Hong Kong play such an influential role in ment – offers 95,000 square metres environmentally friendly LED astronaut. global cinema. Here’s a guide to what’s on: of intelligent office space. The lighting manufacturer Cree, which Courtesy of Big Pictures Ltd, state-of-the-art digital community, has more than 1,300 US patents Film Development Fund, DADI Century (Beijing) Ltd and OVERHEARD 2 with its cluster of approximately and 389 China patents (issued DADI Entertainment Ltd. (Dir: Alan Mak, Felix Chong. 2011): Part of the team 100 technology and digital-content and pending in each jurisdiction). that brought the acclaimed Infernal Affairs series to tenants, also boasts a media centre, Cree opened its Hong Kong office the big screen, here they turn their attention to the a conference and exhibition centre, in 2001 as the company’s regional CINEMA Local productions intrigues of the financial world, with veteran actor a five-star hotel and retail facilities. headquarters. It has increased its Lau Ching Wan taking the lead role as an unscrupu- Herman Lam, Cy- Hong Kong team from 70 to more are growing along with box lous trader, while Louis Koo and Daniel Wu play the berport’s ambitious than 100 in the past 12 months. office receipts as filmmakers cop and spook trying to unravel the man’s mysteri- CEO, has a singular “Hong Kong Science Park offers a ous dealings. Overheard 2 plays up the tension, the aim: “We want to fertile working environment where focus on China, writes pace and the utter panic that goes hand-in-hand build Cyberport innovation thrives,” says Soo Ghee Mathew Scott. with the often-grubby world of high finance. and Hong Kong into Lee, Cree Asia’s general manager. Monday, Sept. 12; 7:45pm. The May Fair Hotel, one of the leading “And in addition, it provides beauti-I Stratton Street, London, W1J 8LT. technology hubs in fully landscaped open spaces.” f you want an indication of Street, where the film was shot. 1920s and 30s, with their urban critical and box office success of the region.” Chuck Cheng, founder of just how cinema pulses with Depending on exactly who it comedies and historical epics. the likes of Ip Man 2 and Detec- IP MAN He advocates a integrated-circuit design house CYBERPORT the very heart of Hong Kong, is you talk to, Hong Kong’s love Post-WWII saw Hong tive Dee and the Mystery of the (Dir: Wilson Yip. 2008): Yip’s high-octane box three-pronged ap- AppoTech, is another beneficiary of look no further than the case affair with cinema started either Kong thrive and so too did its Phantom Flame showed that office smash picks up the story in 1930s Foshan as proach to achieving Hong Kong’s enlightened approachof Echoes of the Rainbow. with a film of which only ru- cinema with the emergence Hong Kong audiences still love the Japanese invade, turning the city upside down. it. “The first is to nur- to attracting high-tech businesses. Pieced together in 2009 by mours remain (Stealing a Roast over the next few decades of the their action – but again there Standing up to this evil is the martial-arts master ture talent, entrepre- Starting off as virtually a one-the filmmaking team of director Duck, 1909), or with a 1913 film mega-studios and the likes of was a place for productions Ip Man and the reward for his impudence is a INNOVATION Government’s third of Hong Kong’s university neurs and start-ups. The second man-band in 2003, the companyAlex Law and producer Mabel from which only one faded im- Shaw Brothers and Cathay and like the comedy, 72 Tenants of showdown with the general leading the invading graduates are in the sciences and is to drive collaboration to pool has grown to employ 300 people,Cheung, Echoes is a simple tale age still exists (Zhuangzi Tests later Golden Harvest producing Prosperity. troops. This is more a re-imagining than a straight, investments in tech-friendly facilities engineering, so we have a large resources and create business op- achieving a 578% revenue growth inthat follows the struggles faced His Wife). What’s not in dispute hundreds of films a year. From In reality it is what’s happen- factual re-telling of the life and times of the legend- and programmes aim to further boost resource of people. Secondly, Hong portunities. The third is to narrow a single three-year an immigrant family dealing is the fact that the film industry these fertile creative grounds ing further north that is really ary kung fu teacher – who would later pass on Kong is also a centre of world-class the digital divide by promoting a Mr Cheng says Hong Kong haswith life in 1960s Hong Kong. here has very closely followed sprung the talents of Bruce Lee invigorating the Hong Kong film his tricks to Bruce Lee. the city’s strengths. By Gary Jones universities. Hong Kong has eight, Cyberport, on digitally inclusive society.” been hugely beneficial to his com- Hong KongIt was made on a shoestring the fortunes of the city itself. and Jackie Chan and, later, the industry. China is currently in Tuesday, Sept. 13; 6:30pm. Prince Charles Cinema, and of those, six are science and Island, is a Hong Kong Science and Tech- pany’s growth, citing “subsidies, Wbudget of HK$3.6 million Filmmakers – chief among golden age of the 1990s when the midst of a cinematic boom: 7 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BY. research universities,” Mr Tan adds. US$2 billon nology Park, in the New Territo- clustering effect for the supply(£285,000) provided by Hong them the “father of Hong Kong films such as John Woo’s The more than 1,400 cinemas are hen, in 2003, a shaken off its low-tech reputation The government has, in recent state-of-the- ries, provides 20 state-of-the-art chain, training, expensive equip- art digitalKong’s Film Development Fund Cinema,” Lai Man-wai – helped Killer (1999) helped frame what being built there each year, and ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW European Space to become a player in precision years, invested a great deal in tech- laboratory-fitted buildings offer- ment and machines available for community thatand Mr Law and Ms Cheung chart the histories of Hong the world came to expect from box office receipts in 2010 grew (Dir: Alex Law. 2010): An immigrant family Agency spacecraft high technology. friendly facilities and programmes offers 95,000 ing 220,000 square metres of office rental” as major advantages.thought their “little film” might Kong and mainland China in the the action genre. a stunning 64% to 10.2 billion struggles with the very real problems of day-to-day blasted off for Innovation and technology is, to further boost Hong Kong’s square meters space. Fully equipped laboratories Cyberport’s Mr Lam points toofind modest success. Lately, Hong Kong produc- yuan (£986 million). life in 1960s Hong Kong in this acclaimed reflec- Mars, it carried a rock-sampling in fact, one of the six key industries strengths as an attractive base for of intelligent and engineering services are to Hong Kong’s status as an early But Echoes ended up be- ers have been looking more and The catch though is that Chi- tion on times long gone. Echoes is dreamlike in its tool – expected to be the first ever that Hong Kong has highlighted as innovation, most notably with its office space, available for hourly rental or on a adopter of new technologies and as well as someing the critical and box office more to China and to the pos- na only allows 20 foreign films sentimentality but that never detracts from the to drill into the surface of the red growth engines for the economy. world-class Cyberport and Hong project basis. Since its inception in its sensitivity to trends. “Regard- of the bestsurprise of 2010, picking up four sibilities that are fast developing to screen in its cinemas each very human drama at its core. Starring Hong Kong planet – that had been jointly “When people think of Hong Kong, Kong Science Park developments. views in 2001, the park has become home ing the penetration of the latestHong Kong Film Awards and across the border. year – and that’s precisely where veterans Simon Yam and Sandra Ng, it was Aarif developed by a Hong Kong dentist they think of a financial centre, a “Our total expenditure on R&D Hong Kong. to more than 300 technology technology – be it a game console,almost HK$25 million in local The bare facts show that Hong Kong comes in to play. Lee who picked up a Hong Kong Film Award for his and engineers at Hong Kong Poly- logistics centre, a tourism centre,” in 2009 was US$1.65 billion (£1.02 companies engaging in integrated the latest smart phones, the iPadbox office receipts. Not only local productions rose in Hong Co-productions with Chinese moving depiction of a young man forced to face the technic University. says Anthony Tan, CEO of Hong billion),” says Greg So, secretary circuits and electronics, precision or even applications online – wedid the film strike a chord with Kong last year – from the 52 filmmakers are exempt from brutal facts of life. The Mars Rock Corer was Kong Science & Technology Parks for commerce and economic engineering, biotechnology, green are always at the cutting edge. It’sthe public, even the politicians films completed in 2009 to the quota and as China’s film Weds, Sept. 14; 6:30pm. Prince Charles Cinema. symbolic of a city that had long Corp. “In fact, every year about a development. “That represented a technology and ICT industries. in our blood, we like adventures.”tapped into the wave of nostalgia 55 – while box office receipts industry expands, it is increas-the film created and moved to climbed to around HK$300 ingly looking to Hong Kong for LOVE IN A PUFFpermanently preserve the old million, up from the previous guidance.Hong Kong-China co- (Dir: Pang Ho-cheung. 2010): Novelist-turned-tenement buildings on Wing Lee year’s HK$248 million. The productions accounted for eight filmmaker Pang Ho-cheung has built his career on of the top 10 box office earners an ability to identify the often-peculiar habits of his in China last year. fellow Hongkongers and to celebrate them at the “Hong Kong filmmakers in same time. Here’s a case in point – a romance forged all the disciplines – produc- by the city’s anti-smoking laws. Shawn Yue and Mir- ing, directing, art department, iam Yeung play office workers drawn together when martial arts, post-production, they are forced outside to smoke their cigarettes. marketing, distribution and le- It’s there that they share the hopes and dreams they gal – have been one of the major have for themselves – and their city. driving forces behind the rapid Thurs, Sept. 15; 6:30pm. Prince Charles Cinema. growth of the film industry in China for the last eight years,” THE BEAST STALKER says producer Nansun Shi, (Dir: Dante Lam. 2008): The streets are mean and whose Distribution Workshop the people are nasty in this gripping thriller which help put together the recent box pits a cop (Nicholas Tse), haunted by a past mistake, office hit, Overheard 2. against one of Hong Kong cinema’s great villains That film brought in around (Nick Cheung). Lam frames the city like a waking HK$6.5 million in Hong Kong in nightmare with danger, violence and regret around its opening week and 80 million every corner, and while the film marks the emer- yuan from cinemas in the main- gence of Tse as a grown-up star, in the end it’s all land – a sure sign, Ms Shi says, about Cheung’s heartless assassin, a role so brutally of how Hong Kong cinema can realized it brought him six best actor awards. compete in the modern market Friday, Sept. 16; 6:30pm. Prince Charles Cinema. play and of how it can thrive. —Mathew Scott
  • 8. A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T14 HONG KONG HONG KONG 15C A L E N DA R 24-HOUR CITYHONG KONG IS A VIBRANT CITY OFFASCINATING FESTIVALS AND COLOURFULEVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.HERE IS JUST A TASTE. HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL CITY OF LIGHT 1 VIEWS The world’s tallest city is all about views. And while impressive urban vistas will surround you every moment of your visit, searching out a dizzying lookout is mandatory. The expansive panorama from Victoria Peak – combined with a ride on the rickety Peak Tram – is the most Those in search of Hong Kong’s spiritual side will find smoke-filled temples dotted around the territory. Check out the small but captivating Man Mo Temple (124-126 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan) with its array of hypnotic spiral-incense and the picturesque Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Sha Tin. famous, but we wouldn’t say the best. Those are For history buffs, check out the Museum of History JAZZ FESTIVAL (SEPT. 25-OCT. 2) from the towering Sky100 observation deck in Hong (100 Chatham Rd South, Tsim Sha Tsui) – the HongIn 2008, a group of jazz enthusiasts turned their passion Kong’s tallest building, the gleaming new Internation- Kong Story provides a fascinating summary of the ter-into an annual city-wide event devoted to the genre. Ex- al Commerce Centre in West Kowloon, where you’ll ritory’s ceding to Britain and its return to China.pect over 300 artists from 24 countries, including five- HKTB find both the iconic harbour and the oft-forgotten 4time Grammy-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard. views over Kowloon. Time your ascent for the nightly ESCAPE TO THE WILDERNESS While itThe free opening concert is set for 2pm in the piazza of A Symphony of Lights at 8pm, where lasers and light may enjoy a reputation as the ultimate urbanthe Hong Kong Cultural Centre on the Tsim Sha Tsui beams shoot from the city skyscrapers. metropolis, a whopping 70% of Hong Kongharbour front. Two outdoor concerts will be staged on is actually nature, punctuated by country parks, hiking 2Oct. 1 and 2 in the new West Kowloon Cultural District. ENJOY THE JOURNEY The Star Ferry’s trails and secluded beaches. You probably don’t 10-minute harbour crossing is possibly the time for a 10-hour trek across the New Territories, but HONG KONG WINE & most spectacular get a taste of the wilder- DINE FESTIVAL (OCT. 27-30) 20p ride in the world, but ness while checking-offThis festival – named by Forbes as one of it’s given stiff competi- other sights. The Ngongthe top 10 international food and wine events – kicks off tion from the island’s Ping 360 cable car (www.a month-long celebration for connoisseurs. Restaurants double-decker trams that, whichand hotels, food producers and wine retailers offer have been plying the takes you across Hongexceptional wines and gourmet dishes from hundreds of tracks here since 1904. Kong’s biggest island,booths along the West Kowloon Waterfront. The famous Take them only for the Lantau, delivers views ofharbour acts as a backdrop and live music and dance charm, though: the MTR Disneyland, the airport andperformances give the event a carnival feel. Not to be – the city’s tube – is the verdant and undulatingmissed for food lovers. easily among the world’s landscape. Combine it best and gets you pretty a trip to the Big Buddha, a much anywhere you’ll need to go. mandatory sight, and Tai O, a charming village built on HONG KONG WINTERFEST stilts, and kill several birds with one stone. EXPLORE It’s hard to match this city’s mix of ancient 3 (NOV. 25-JAN. 1) CULTURE AND HISTORY Hong Kong 5The great thing about Christmas in Hong Kong is that culture is best sampled on the street. Watch EATING AND DRINKING It’s hard to gopeople celebrate it outside, so the city gets a real buzz.From the end of November, the skyscrapers compete traditions and 21st century lifestyle, writes Howard Carr Tai Chi in the early morning in Kowloon or Victoria Park, wander the historic streets of Central wrong with Hong Kong’s cuisine. However, you shouldn’t miss Hong Kong’s most famousto show the most elaborate festive lights, the sales are (start with Graham and Gage streets) and Sheung culinary export, yum cha. Luckily, it’s everywhere. Linon and restaurants offer seasonal menus with a twist. Wan (try Bonham Strand West and Des Voeux Heung Tea House (160 Wellington St, Sheung Wan) is TAt New Year’s countdown, the towering International Road West) where chic boutiques and coffee shops one of the most traditional, if culturally confronting. ButFinance Centre becomes a giant clock and at midnight a his Chinese territory seven million inhabitants live if it is to compete successfully completed over the past few is due to be completed in 2016. culture and the east-meets- abut traditional dried-seafood vendors, and hunt for plenty of restaurants are veering away from tradition,pyrotechnic display lights up the harbour. may cover an area in Kowloon and on Hong Kong with other destinations. This years include Hong Kong “We are seeing increasingly west culture. Then you can bargains in the markets of Kowloon. including the Michelin-starred duo of Tim Ho Wan (2- Left: the city shimmers only two-thirds that Island, making them among of year it has already celebrated Disneyland and Ngong Ping the trend for multi-destination go to Macau and experience You’ll inevitably encounter Mong Kok’s Ladies 20 Kwong Wa St, Mong Kok) and One Dim Sum (15 CHINESE NEW YEAR under a blaze of neon. (JAN. 23) of Greater London, the world’s most densely popu- the opening of a Ritz-Carlton 360, a 3.5-mile cable car ride Top: The seated travel,” says Mr Lau of the another culture and different Market or Yau Ma Tei’s Temple Street on your Playing Field Rd, Prince Edward) which have quicklySay “Kung Hei Fat Choy” (“wishing you prosper- but it packs a lot into its 426 lated areas. Huge blocks of flats property. Billed as the world’s on Lantau Island. Next up are a Buddha on Lantau Island. HKTB. “Hong Kong, Macau and entertainment options before wanderings around Kowloon, but for a less touristy become famed for their all-day dim sum. For classicity”) this week and Hong Kongers will reciprocate square miles. It’s an intoxicat- are shoulder-to-shoulder with highest hotel, it occupies the new cruise terminal, set to open Middle: an isolated southern China complement moving into China to see the market visit Cat Street (Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Cantonese cuisine in a raucous setting, hit Tung Po ing mixture of old and new, vast, air-conditioned shopping top 17 floors of Hong Kong’s in 2013 on the site of the old beach in Sai Kung. each other. We have different historical sites. Wan), which also gives you an excuse to explore one Seafood Restaurant (2/F, Java Road Market Complex,with a smile. Every year Cathay Pacific sponsors Bottom: Hong Kongthe spectacular International Chinese New Year where ancient traditions malls. Top-notch restaurants tallest building, the 118-sto- Hong Kong airport at Kai Tak, product offerings. Hong Kong is “It’s that combination that of the city’s coolest emerging districts. There’s also North Point), made famous by Anthony Bourdain, and offers some of theNight Parade near the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, mingle with high-tech energy overlook colourful street rey International Commerce and the West Kowloon Cultural world’s best shopping. an international city where you will form a very powerful plenty of glitz-and-glam haute couture throughout try the Wind Sand chicken and Duck Lotus-leaf rice.which is followed by more fireworks over the har- and simple temples markets and roadside teashops Centre. An indoor infinity pool District, a major arts complex can go shopping, experience tourism product for this part Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui for —Mark Tjhung is the Associate Editor of Time Outbour the following day. This day marks sit alongside glass are neighbours of ritzy designer on the 118th floor has sweeping that will encompass theatres, all the excitement, the colonial of the world.” cut-price Bond Street brands. Hong Kong. end of the Year skyscrapers. boutiques. views over Victoria Harbour. concert halls and a museum ofof the Rabbit and A record 36 mil- Come evening, the city While the Ritz-Carlton modern art.greets the Year of lion people visited shimmers under a blaze of neon joins a portfolio of grand hotels The city’s rich calendar ofthe Dragon. Hong Kong last signs and the harbour is the such as the historic Peninsula events is also being expanded toBy long-established year, making it venue for a spectacular sound- in Kowloon – where afternoon take in a full range of attrac-custom, married once again Asia’s and-light show played against tea in the elegant lobby is still tions from dragon boat festivalspeople and bosses are leading city the high-rise architecture. considered a rite of passage and Chinese New Year celebra-supposed to give destination. Away from the urban melee, – the city is also developing tions to a wine and dine month,out lucky money The visitors Hong Kong throws up more an impressive stock of chic, Hong Kong Winterfest and the(called lei see) in red included surprises. About three-quarters boutique properties. Forerun- world-renowned rugby sevensenvelopes to singletons more than of the territory is undeveloped, ners such as Swire Hotels’ East tournament.and subordinates. half a million with about 40% of the land and The Upper House and Hong Kong’s appeal is set towww.discoverhongkong. Britons, many of whom designated as country parks the Philippe Starck-designed grow as it forms closer ties withcom/chinesenewyear took advantage of excellent air and nature reserves. Many of Jia have recently been joined Macau, a 45-minute hydrofoil connections to use the city as a the 200-plus islands that make by the Icon, which boasts Sir ride away, and with southern HONG KONG SEVENS 2012 gateway to mainland China and up Hong Kong are home to Terence Conran among its Chinese cities on the Pearl (MARCH 23-25) other parts of Asia, or as a stop- isolated beaches, hiking trails designers. River Delta. A high-speed railOne of the most important sporting events in over en route to Australasia. and tiny fishing villages. Major tourism projects line will cut the journey time totown, this rugby tournament induces passion not It’s the exciting diversity of “Hong Kong is Asia’s world Guangzhou from 90 minutes toonly at Hong Kong Stadium but also at nightlife Hong Kong that makes it such a city,” says Anthony Lau, execu- 40 by 2015, while a 31-mile se-hubs such as Lockhart Road in Wan Chai and Lan must-see destination. Nowhere tive director of the Hong Kong ries of road bridges and tunnelsKwai Fong in Central. Don’t be startled by the is this more evident than in the Tourism Board (HKTB). “It is linking Hong Kong with Macausudden outbursts of shouting and cheering – they bustling harbour, where sam- vibrant, with a fusion culture. Itare likely to be from rugby fans in bars watching pans and junks jostle for space is a cosmopolitan city.”the live broadcasts. The after-event party at the with cruise ships and container World class it may be, but IT’S THE EXCITING DIVERSITY OFstadium can get seriously rowdy. This event isnot only for ardent sports fans. vessels against a skyline that rivals that of Manhattan. tourism officials recognise that the city has to continue adding HONG KONG THAT MAKES IT SUCH A MUST-SEE DESTINATION.” Most of the territory’s new attractions and facilities
  • 9. A DV E RT I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T16 HONG KONGGREEN HAVENS the boat of Wah Kee Travel for a roundtrip ride to Sharp Island (or Kiu Tsui Island). It’s only a 15-min- ute journey but you might as wellEXPLORE Hiking trails, parks and wild have gone to another world.beaches, the other face of an exhilarating city. Most visitors come here to walk on the famous gravel tombolo thatW emerges at low tide. It links Sharp hen people think it covers many historical relics. It’s Island with the islet of Kiu Tau, of Hong Kong they possible to walk to it from the city from which you get a beautiful envision a dynamic, centre; in fact, the journey to the view of Clear Water Bay Peninsula energetic city of park is a historical trail in itself. and Port Shelter by walking to theglossy shopping malls, buzzing res- From bustling Queen’s Road other end through a short hikingtaurants, bars and cafes. And most Central, amid the skyscrapers, you trail. Tidal information is posted!visitors think spending a couple of can ascend to Government Hill To explore Tai Long Wan, headdays here is enough. through the footpath at Ice House for Wong Shek Pier where you can But there is another Hong Kong Street, past the neo-classical hire a kaido (small motorboat) for– the Hong Kong of hiking trails, former French Mission Building the short ride to Chek Keng Vil-country parks, wetlands, a Geopark, (now the Court of Final Appeal) lage. Few villagers remain, but atfishing villages, wild beaches and to reach Lower Albert Road and weekends some former residentscolourful outlying islands. then Upper Albert Road, which return to set up makeshift stores to In fact, 40% of the territory is takes you to the former Governor’s here, you have a clear view of the For serious nature lovers, Sai sell provisions to hikers. From Chekconserved as country parks. Many House. From here, you enter the western end of the great Victoria Kung is not to be missed. The Keng you can reach the spectacularof these green havens are in the 140-year-old Zoological and Bo- Harbour and Green Island, recogni- The view from largest unspoilt “garden” of Hong Tai Long Wan. You can also get toNew Territories, which includes tanical Gardens, exit on May Road sable by the lighthouse on top. Victoria Peak is Kong, this district comprises the Chek Keng by taking the bus to Pakthe city’s hinterland and more and walk up to Old Peak Road that Take Peak Road for your across unspoilt southeastern coast of the New Tam Au and taking the downhill nature. Isolatedthan 200 islands, but others are leads to famous Victoria Peak. descent and you will find Pokfulam Territories and some 70 islands. It trail with a commanding view of bays, wild beacheswithin walking distance of the Enter Lung Fu Shan through Reservoir Road, a picturesque and outlying is also home to the city’s Geopark Long Harbour – a popular spot forbeating heart of Hong Kong. Harlech Road. This popular path trail that takes you into Pokfulam islands offer a and the serene Tai Long Wan (Big windsurfers. One of the most accessible is leads to a scenic picnic area where, Country Park, a 270-hectare taste of Hong Wave Bay). The Great Outdoors Hong Kong Kong beyond theLung Fu Shan, on Hong Kong Is- on weekends, families gather and sylvan sanctuary encompassing In Sai Kung Town, you will find event runs from Nov. 13 to Dec. 11., home to the oldest urban set- people take long walks. Find Hatton the Pokfulam Reservoir, the oldest a line up of boat operators along the It is the city’s youngest Road and follow it to Pinewood Bat- on Hong Kong Island, dating back waterfront, all eager to take you to motions/greatoutdoorscountry park, established in 1998, tery, a protected monument built in to 1863. The path, about 4.3 miles the many scenic islands at a modest Reggie Ho is the Asia editor ofand the smallest at 47 hectares, but 1903 as part of a military fort. From long, ends on Pokfulam Road. cost. For just HK$20 (£1.58), board Business Traveller