HONG KONG - The fifth edition of the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference (ALMC) opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The two-day event (17-18 November) is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
The opening day saw a series of activities, including the plenary forum examining China's Belt and Road Initiative. Around 2,000 industry elites from some 30 countries and regions are attending the ALMC, which is the largest industry conference of its kind in Asia.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Carrie Lam, Acting Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government, pointed out the Belt and Road Initiative is a key development strategy of the Chinese mainland, which will deliver a wealth of opportunities for Hong Kong and its logistics and maritime industry. "Hong Kong enjoys good connections with many of the 'Belt and Road' economies. And you can count on Hong Kong to play a significant role as the 'super-connector' between the Mainland and those economies. Our commercial experience and logistics expertise will be in demand as the movement of goods and people becomes ever more frequent under the 'Belt and Road' Initiative," said Ms Lam.
Vincent HS Lo, Chairman of the HKTDC, added, "Three prominent trends that will be under the ALMC microscope include Big Data analytics, the explosive growth of e-commerce, and of course, the significance of China's mega Belt and Road Initiative. This last topic in fact, is the main theme of our conference this year because your industry is one of the crucial drivers of the Belt and Road Initiative. Inspired by the ancient Silk Road, this Initiative is a financial, economic and social integration plan spanning Asia to Europe and beyond, covering more than 60 countries and accounting for over 30 per cent of global GDP."
100 heavyweight speakers share their insights
The ALMC features some 100 heavyweight speakers from well-known international brands taking part in various panel discussions. The first session, themed "The Belt and Road: Journey to the New Era" examined the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on the logistics and maritime industry, as well as the opportunities and challenges generated by the Initiative. Speakers included Zhao Huxiang, Chairman of Sinotrans & CSC Holdings Co, Ltd; George Yeo, Chairman of Kerry Logistics Network; and Eric Ip, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd.
In addition to the plenary session, seven forums were organised on the opening day, covering a host of topical issues related to logistics, shipping and maritime, air freight and supply chain management. E-commerce is a major growth area in Asia, impacting the retail industry, delivery channels and retail logistics. The opening Logistics Forum, under the theme "Seize the Moment: the E-commerce Evolution", heard from speakers including Frank Lavin, CEO and Founder of Export Now; Pierre Poignant, Chief Operating Officer of Lazada Group; KK Leung, President for North Asia of UPS; and forum host Mark Millar, Chairman of International Relations Committee, Hong Kong Logistics Association.
Other forums on the opening day included "From Hong Kong to the World: Opportunities in Asian Airfreight," "Bumpy Seas Ahead for the Liner Shipping?", "Building Trust in the Food Supply Chain," "High Stakes for the Tanker and Gas Trade?" and "Can the Dry Trades Bulk Up?".
Tomorrow's focus: Examining opportunity of Big Data Analytics
The second plenary session titled "Big Data Analytics: Envision the Future of Logistics" will be held tomorrow (18 November) and will feature such speakers as Dr Gu Haijie, Head of Data Science Team, Data Technology Department, Alibaba Group; Shaun Connolly, International Programme Director for Transport, Logistics, Postal and Supply Chain, Teradata; and Louise Wong, Solution Principal for Advanced Analytics and Big Data, Greater China Region, Microsoft. The audience will hear about opportunities from Big Data as well as best practices and potential risks in the industry.
New to this year's ALMC is a series of forums hosted by China Daily as well as various mainland provincial and municipal governments, including Hubei, Shaanxi, Lianyungang (Jiangsu) and Zhuhai, which will examine strategic positioning under and opportunities arising from the Belt and Road framework. The forums include "Belt and Road Initiative: Implications and Opportunities for Trade and Investments", "When Belt and Road meets Yangtze Economic Zone - China Central hub connects the world", "The Belt and Road - New Opportunities for the Development of Logistics Cooperation between Shaanxi and Hong Kong", "New Eurasia Land Bridge - International Transport Route under the Belt and Road Initiative" and "New Logistics and Cross-border E-commerce Opportunities in Zhuhai and the PRD Region upon Completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge". Other comprehensive forums include "Mapping the Dynamic Electronics Supply Chain", "Developments and Trends in Maritime Dispute Resolution" and "Shipper-Liner Dialogue".
Expanded exhibition and business-matching
The ALMC Exhibition is expanded this year to include 100 exhibitors showcasing their e-logistics and logistics services as well as shipping and other related services. Among the exhibitors, Port of Hamburg is presenting its Chain Port Concept, which promotes the establishment of a chain of "smart" ports along the Maritime Silk Road section of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Chain Port Concept supports the sharing of intelligent systems and data among competitors to enable mutual growth.
More than 150 one-on-one business-matching sessions are arranged to help exhibitors and conference participants expand business connections and explore new market opportunities, while promoting Hong Kong's competitive edge as a logistics and maritime hub.
The ALMC is supported by the Hong Kong Logistics Development Council, the Hong Kong Maritime Industry Council and the Hong Kong Port Development Council. The ALMC has also invited 23 global leaders in the logistics and shipping industries and representatives of internationally renowned enterprises to serve as honorary advisors to provide valuable advice on the agenda and organisation of the conference.
The ALMC is also a flagship event of the Logistics and Maritime Weeks, which includes a series of activities that bring together international players in the logistics and shipping industries. Activities include wide-ranging seminars, exhibitions and networking functions in Hong Kong that create synergy with the ALMC.
Belt and Road Summit in 2016
The HKTDC will organise the Belt and Road Summit on 18 May 2016, gathering government, business and academic leaders from the Chinese mainland and around the world to share their views and experiences on the Initiative. In addition, a new website will be launched to gather the latest information on the Initiative.
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A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and services providers. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in overseas markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.
HKTDC Communication & Public Affairs Department Joe Kainz Tel: +852 2584 4216 Email: [email protected]