A U.S.-Hong Kong Forum

By Barinna Poon
Wednesday - May 05, 2010
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By Barinna Poon
President of National U.S. Hong Kong Business Association

I have always been interested in trade and cultural exchanges between Hawaii, Hong Kong and China since I moved to Hawaii in 1989.

I was president of the Hong Kong Business Association of Hawaii from 2008 to 2009. The HKBAH is a nonprofit, politically neutral business association established in 1996. Our mission is to provide a bridge in facilitating trade, investment and business opportunities between Hawaii, Hong Kong and China in order to enhance our separate commercial and investment environments for mutual benefit. HKBAH is a member of the National U.S. Hong Kong Business Association (NUSHKBA), with associations in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

As 2010 president of NUSHKBA, I am bringing the first U.S.-Hong Kong Forum, titled “The China Opportunity - Hong Kong: Asia’s World City That Makes It Happen!” to Honolulu on May 14. Thanks goes to our Forum Program Committee and our honorary chairman Dr. Lawrence Tseu for making this happen.

Why choose Hawaii as a location for the first U.S.-Hong Kong Forum? We believe the forum will be an event that represents Hawaii as a place where business can be conducted and one can still experience the true meaning of aloha. The forum offers Hawaii SMEs and businesses the latest market intelligence on the business opportunities in Mainland China with Hong Kong as the launch pad for accelerating the process of entry and growth. The Office of Economic Development of the City and County of Honolulu is our partner for this forum.

(from left) Jimmie Bush, Joan Davis, Bee Leng Chua, Dr. Lawrence Tseu, Elmira K.L. Tsang, Barinna Poon and Helen Chong

Scheduled to speak at the forum are Gov. Linda Lingle and Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Overseas expert speakers include Donald Tong, JP Hong Kong commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs USA; Simon Galpin, director general, Invest Hong Kong, and Louis Ho, regional director, Americas, Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

This full-day forum will cover a range of issues from the macro-economic environment and growth sectors in China to using the Hong Kong legal system to initiate and manage business transactions in China. A special session regarding legal implications of doing business in China and discussion of the EB-5 visa program will be held. Among the speakers is attorney Alan Ma, who will talk about the EB-5 Visa Program, with special emphasis on relevance to Chinese investors, approaching potential Chinese investors and the proper legal and business structure acceptable to USCIS and the investors.

Daniel R. Fung, senior counsel of the Hong Kong Bar, who will talk about the evolving role the legal system in Hong Kong plays in China’s development.

Calvin Mak, founder and CEO of Rhombus International Hotels Group, will speak about the hospitality market, how Hawaii can attract Chinese visitors and the massive growth of tourism both into and from China.

Additionally, there will be workshops on the Hong Kong Food Expo to assist Hawaii businesses to get into the Asian food market; and the U. S. Department of Commerce session on how to connect local companies with the international markets. Attendance is limited to registration only. For more information, go to http://www.ushkforum.org.

This forum represents an important opportunity for Hawaii residents and businesses interested in doing or expanding business in and with China.

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