The head of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, Jack Hsu, has told Splash of his renewed sense of optimism for the city as a maritime hub in the wake of an influential report last Monday, which looked at how Hong Kong could bolster its position as a ship leasing stronghold.
Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) released a research report last week, addressing the importance of developing a significant maritime financing and leasing industry in Hong Kong.
“As an international financial centre, Hong Kong is in a uniquely advantageous position to drive shipping-related financial services. Hong Kong needs to further develop its maritime cluster in view of the fierce competition from global maritime centres. Hong Kong must maintain and enhance its competitive advantages of the maritime cluster for the sustainable growth of the shipping industry,” the FSDC report noted.
Hsu, who heads up Oak Maritime’s Hong Kong operations, told Splash: “The FSDC report does breathe new life to Hong Kong’s shipping scene. This is certainly encouraging, in terms of helping to strengthen Hong Kong’s role as a ship financing sector, from the leasing angle. As we all know, ship financing is an integral part of any international maritime cluster. But whether it will cause a sudden rush in the number of companies that set up shop, only time will tell.”
In the wake of the report being published the HKSOA urged the local government to follow up on its findings and to bolster the city’s maritime credentials with Hsu quoted in a release from last week, saying: “Commercial principals are the drivers of the maritime business. Hong Kong, in particular, needs commercial principals to maintain and grow its maritimecpresence. If more commercial principals are attracted to Hong Kong, it makes commercial sense for the related service providers to follow.”