Hong Kong 3.0 – From Legacy to Revitalisation: Global Economy Strategies Befriending the Two Largest Islamic Regions in the World

On 12 May 2023 the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong hosted the SingCham HK Speaker Series featuring the Talk “Positioning Hong Kong amid Sino-US Relations.” by speaker, Prof. Kishore Mahbubani, the former President of the United Nations Security Council and former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.

As reiterated by the esteemed Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinker, Hong Kong must act entrepreneurially and promptly to restructure its global economic positioning amidst the deteriorating Sino-US relations.

Indonesia and the Middle East (specifically the UAE and Saudi Arabia) emerge as strategic destinations for strengthening trade and investment relations in additional areas such as capital markets (dual listing destinations), new energy, smart city technologies, digital assets, and new global supply chains of deep technologies like chips, advanced robotics, and Artificial Intelligence.

(Photo credit: Alamy Stock)

G20 in 2022 – The Year of Indonesia and the Middle East

The year 2022 marked significant diplomatic and economic advancements between Indonesia and the Middle East, setting a benchmark for Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Despite pandemic challenges, Indonesia’s Presidency of the G20 in 2022 successfully orchestrated key meetings and conventions focused on investment and trade. These included the Indonesia-Qatar Business Forum, Indonesia-Kuwait Business Forum, Indonesia-Saudi Arabia Business Forum and the Trade Expo Indonesia 2022. Countries, including Kuwait, Iran, and other Middle Eastern nations, actively participated in these events. Most notably, Qatar committed to investing over 500 million USD in Indonesia’s “10 New Balis” long-term tourism initiative for

Furthermore, the G20 Summit in Bali, November 2022 bolstered the momentum for Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, culminating in seven Government-to-Government (G2G) Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and 17 Business-to-Business (B2B) MoUs.

The burgeoning trade and investment relationship between Indonesia and the Middle East suggests a natural business partnership for Hong Kong – Middle East trade and investment connectivity. As Hong Kong emerged as the second-largest source of Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia in 2021, further Middle East-linked regional trade and investment strategies and capital deployment could be achieved through Indonesia’s support.

Capitalising on Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship – Cultivating a Deeper Alliance Towards COP28 UAE

With Hong Kong’s reopening, the special administrative region refreshes its grand vision with a more entrepreneurially driven government leadership. Guided and supported by the Chief Executive, over 30 official delegations have been initiated since the first quarter of 2023, targeting strategic destinations like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.

The UAE, covering the Middle East, has attracted over 4,000 millionaires and an increasing number of family offices as a wealth management hub in recent years, countering global inflation pressures. In contrast, Indonesia, with its 270 million population, dominated by Muslims and home to a significant Chinese diaspora with strong business and trade ties to the Middle East and Mainland China, serves as a cultural and economic bridge for Hong Kong (and the Greater Bay Area) to the Middle East. Similarly, Hong Kong stands as a financial hub and market gateway to Mainland China (Greater Bay Area) for the Muslim-majority regions.

While the successful official delegations of the Hong Kong SAR Government have marked an encouraging beginning for the brand “Hong Kong Inc.”, the city must remain vigilant for opportunities such as Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship and COP28 UAE towards year-end. The capital market in Hong Kong, backed by robust USD-peg and RMB reserves, could spearhead and address some of the world’s most significant sustainability investment opportunities:

  • $127 billion and $295 billion per year by 2030 and 2050, respectively, for developing countries for climate adaptation financing; 
  • an average annual gap of USD 9.4 trillion between 2022 and 2050 for investments required to achieve global net carbon zero;
  • a rapidly growing post-pandemic global smart city technology market expected to reach 301.2 billion USD by 2032 (CAGR of 10.7%), and more.

Hong Kong Ambassadors Club – Masterfully Promoting “Hong Kong Inc.” in Strategic Regions

Keeping the city of legacy, Hong Kong, vibrant is not solely the responsibility of the HKSAR Government. The Hong Kong Ambassadors Club, co-founded by representatives from two influential sectors in Hong Kong – family office and public administrations, Mr Patrick Tsang of Tsangs Group and the Hon Jeffrey Lam, GBS, JP, Non-official member of the Executive Council (Exco) and Member of the Legislative Council (Legco), The Government of HKSAR of the People’s Republic of China, respectively, have undertaken an entrepreneurial initiative. This initiative aims to drive private sectors to collectively work towards rebranding and maintaining a positive image of “Hong Kong Inc.” where Hong Kong symbolises businesses of high professional calibre and large-scale financial capital for existing and new strategic regions.