The 12th edition of the Asia Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference, jointly organised by HKTDC and Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in a hybrid format.
Dr Peter K N Lam, Chairman of the HKTDC welcomed international delegates to the conference, saying: "In the past year, economies have confronted a myriad of challenges, not least the pandemic, war, inflation and rising energy prices. No country or region, including Hong Kong, is immune to these developments. This attests to how connected our world is today. We may live on opposite sides of the world from each other, but the phenomenon of globalisation has, particularly over the last few decades, intertwined our fates ever closer. The logistics, maritime and aviation industries are a principal driver and guardian of our interconnectedness. In today's increasingly globalised world, they flourish most in an environment of stability. The resilience and sustainability of global supply chains guarantee their continued growth. The disruption and delays caused by the pandemic in the past three years have highlighted an urgent need to assess how we can manage supply chains differently, so they are better equipped to withstand future challenges."
Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR, officiated at the online opening, saying: "There is clear and compelling direction in the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the development plan for the Greater Bay Area. Together, they confirm Hong Kong's future as both an international shipping centre and a premier international aviation hub. To achieve those goals, Hong Kong will continue to integrate into our country's overall economic development. We will fully embrace the boundless opportunities they present us, in logistics - and a great deal more. There is, strategic direction, too, in this year's theme: 'The Future of the Sustainable Supply Chain: Connectivity, Collaboration, Innovation.' It hammers home what we need to realise the future we want."
International speakers analyse the latest trends in the global logistics, shipping and air freight industries
This year's conference featured a wide range of panel discussions and forums with a strong line-up of speakers. Global industry leaders discussed international and regional collaboration, the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), innovation and technology, and sustainable developments from a variety of perspectives.
In the keynote address this morning, Xiangchen Zhang, Deputy-Director General of the World Trade Organization, examined how governments and businesses in the international arena may join forces to mitigate the impact of supply chain disruption.
"Challenges and opportunities are the two sides of the same coin. To address common challenges in global supply chains, we will rely on connectivity, collaboration and innovation," said Zhang.
This was followed by the Plenary Session featuring global business leaders, including Mathieu Renard Biron, Managing Director of Global Freight Forwarding of Kerry Logistics, Ludovic Renou, CEO of CMA CGM China and Wilkie Wong, Chief Financial Officer of Esquel Group, who discussed how business evolution and supply chain transformation can steer business growth and achieve sustainable development amidst the current economic climate by building connectivity, fostering collaboration and driving innovation.
Mathieu Renard Biron said: "Given all the disruptions of supply chain in the past two years, more opportunities will be coming from Asia while leading to the change of people's expectations and experiences." He added that collaborations and partnerships are needed to foster innovation. The use of AI machine learning technology, for example, is part of our new normal.
Air Freight Forum: Hong Kong as an international aviation hub in the post-pandemic era
As an international aviation hub, the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is one of the busiest and most advanced airports in the world. The Air Freight Forum, co-organised with the Airport Authority Hong Kong, discussed HKIA's "Airport City" vision covering the third runway, express air cargo terminal expansion, the new premium logistics centre, staff training strategies and the synergy created by HKIA and airports in Mainland China.
Maritime Forum: The Way forward
Connectivity is a major component of cooperation among GBA cities. In the first of two Maritime Forums on day one, leaders from the maritime and technology sectors examined Hong Kong's role as an international maritime hub in the GBA. Industry experts engaged in conversation on shipping sustainability, decarbonisation and digitalisation in the second Forum.
The Power Dialogue, titled "Asia for Asia - Powering the Growth of Supply Chain Networks", featured Kian Chuan Chang, Regional Director of Customs Brokerage & Trade Compliance of GEODIS APAC (Holdings), Wingco Lo, Executive Vice President of The Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, Daryl Tay, President, North Asia District of UPS Parcel Delivery Service and Eva Tsang, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director Opal Cosmetics Group. They looked at how RCEP creates opportunities through the integration of regional trade and supply chains and shared their strategic plans for capturing future opportunities.
In the Thematic Session, Terence Chiu, Commissioner of the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation, together with Ivy Tse, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of FreightAmigo, shared how businesses can capture opportunities created by supply chain integration in the GBA. This session provided practical insights and solutions for SMEs looking for expansion into the GBA.
Tech experts at InnoTalks underscored game-changing innovative solutions and technologies that are driving advancements in modern logistics and smart supply chain development, helping companies to stay ahead of shifting consumer demands and expectations.
Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Exhibition: Connecting logistics technology and solution providers with shippers
Over 50 exhibitors showcased their latest logistics and supply chain solutions, and innovative technologies to help SMEs enhance their global supply chain management. The HKTDC also arranged business matching sessions for participants to drive more business cooperation.
In addition to the main physical event in Hong Kong, the HKTDC organised ALMAC satellite conferences in Chengdu, Fuzhou, Wuhan, Taiwan, Budapest, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Milan, Paris, Sydney and Warsaw. In addition to running a live broadcast of the Conference, some experts participated in selected satellite venues to address logistics issues and shared experiences from a local perspective.
Shipper's Forum shares latest fulfilment trends
The newly introduced Shippers' Forum, titled "E-commerce Fulfillment in Asia", will be held tomorrow (23 November) with Jenny Hui, General Manager of eBay Hong Kong, Taiwan and Global Emerging Markets sharing latest fulfilment trends and best practices for delivering reliable and agile fulfilment solutions.
In the Power Dialogue on the same day, Pippo Au, Head of Supply Chain of Maxim's Group and Suzanne Cheung, Head of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability of Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong, will highlight how companies are marching towards a sustainable supply chain.
In the Closing Session, Chee Choong Ng, Senior Vice President & Managing Director Hong Kong & Macau, DHL Express (Hong Kong), Fox Chu, Partner of McKinsey, John Parkes, Managing Director - Integrated Logistics of Kerry Logistics and Graziano Terenzi, CEO of Inglobe Technologies, will discuss the metaverse and how the logistics industry can make use of robotics, extended reality, augmented reality and other technologies to drive industry development.
Flagship event of Hong Kong Maritime Week
ALMAC is Hong Kong Maritime Week's flagship event and is organised by the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board and supported by the Hong Kong Logistics Development Council.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Xinde Marine News.
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