The Secretary for Transport and Housing’s Remarks at the Hong Kong Maritime Week 2021’s Opening Ceremony

November 26 19:12 2021

The Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board remarks at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Maritime Week 2021, which took place on the 1st of November, 2021. The following is a report of the afore-mentioned remarks.

The Chairman of the Board warmly welcomed all the attendees of the event. He expressed his delight to see the comeback of the Hong Kong Maritime Week, taking into consideration the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the world. Then, how international trades and resilient logistics are key factors to supply food and other essentials in the pandemic was discussed in the event.

The Secretary for Transport and Housing mentioned how trading merchandise had a 5.3% decline in volume and a 7.6% decline in value in 2020, according to the World Trade Organization. Following this remark, he went further to include how trading merchandise had rebounded above its peak during the pandemic and how the World Trade Organization predicts a 10.8% increment in volume in 2021 and a 4.7% increment in 2022.

It was pointed out that Hong Kong was the 6th among the top world traders in 2020; responsible for 3.2% of the worldwide merchandise trade, resulting in a sum value of $1.1 trillion. With over 90% of merchandise cargos being transported by water, the importance of Hong Kong’s port and shipping can not be over-emphasized. Mr. Fan boasted of Hong Kong as being one of the top 10 container ports in the world, with over 150 years of its maritime excellence and heritage, and massive connections all over the world.

Here are some details he gave to fortify this achievement:

  • There are 280 weekly container vessel sailing connected to over 600 locations across the world.
  • Almost 900 shipping-related companies have chosen Hong Kong to be their base location.
  • Hong Kong is home to the first office of the International Chamber of Shipping on foreign soil.
  • Finally, Hong Kong has been designated as the named arbitration venue for the Baltic and International Maritime Council.

Although Hong Kong is recognized as an international centre for maritime activities, it is still prone to the pandemic-related challenges experienced by other port cities worldwide. Mr. Frank mentioned how public health is a priority. He also mentioned Hong Kong’s endeavors to ensure the smooth transit of goods as a result of the seamless operation of its ports. Hong Kong is known to facilitate changing sea crew members, bunkering, and re-positioning.

Expressing his concerns, he made the suggestion of making plans for the post-pandemic period and long-term development. Hong Kong is not only fostering tight collaborations with competitors in the Greener Bay Area and enhancing its competitiveness and global outreach in maritime activities, it is also determined to go smart and green. To make this a reality, Hong Kong has adopted the use of innovative technology and has promoted digitalization. He also informed the attendees about the creation of a Task Force on Small Port Development and how Hong Kong had called upon stakeholders in the industry, for the success of the project.

The 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development’s purpose is to confirm the unyielding support of the Central People’s Government in emphasizing Hong Kong as an international maritime centre. The management of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was said to be dedicated to merging with the dual circulation and contributing to the National Development Strategy; thus creating a massive amount of opportunities for local and international maritime stakeholders.

In conclusion, the audience was reminded of how 2021’s event marked the fifth anniversary of Hong Kong Maritime Week. The event had become an annual flagship event in Hong Kong’s maritime industry. This year’s event consisted of over 30 activities, due to the efforts of over 40 domestic and foreign partners. The activities were diverse, ranging from seminars to conferences, to exhibitions, and to a fun day for families. His closing remark was centered on how the participation of the audience in these activities was an obvious display of the unity and teamwork of Hong Kong’s maritime society.

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