Representatives of the British and Hong Kong maritime business sectors have agreed to forge a closer working relationship and on 12 Sept 2017, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in London
The agreement was signed by Frank Fan Chan, Secretary for Transport & Housing and Maritime London Chairman, Lord Mountevans at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Joining thew were leading representatives from the Hong Kong shipowning community and the UK Minister of State for Transport Legislation and Maritime, John Hayes.
Under the terms of the agreement Maritime London and the Hong Kong Maritime & Port Board will cooperate in a range of areas including promotional activity, training and sharing of best practice for maritime business services.
Upon signing the agreement Mr Chan remarked: “By working together, London and Hong Kong can grow together. Both cities are key international shipping and trading hubs with a shared outward looking and entrepreneurial spirit. Both serve regions beyond their own borders and both have an exciting future. We are delighted by the prospect of a closer working relationship than ever before.”
Lord Mountevans commented: “The Hong Kong and UK maritime business communities have a unique historical relationship and very strong ties. Nearly 10% of the world’s ships are managed or owned in Hong Kong, it is home to one of the world’s leading hub ports and an important gateway to mainland China. Both the UK and Hong Kong look beyond their borders and provide world beating maritime expertise to global shipowners, traders and charterers. This agreement is designed to help both London and Hong Kong businesses collaborate and prosper with the support of their respective representative bodies.”
Such a formal agreement has been expected for some time amongst observers. Shortly after the HKMPB was established in Hong Kong in April 2016 members of the Board visited London for preliminary talks in March 2017. In September 2016, the Maritime London Chairman attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that launched significant further cooperation between the UK’s Warsash Maritime Academy, Southampton Solent University and Hong Kong’s Maritime Services Training Institute. He returned to the territory again in November last year for Hong Kong’s first Maritime Industry Week.