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HK needs to boost cross-border supply chain visibility to stay in the game
(Shipping Gazette)
HONG KONG needs to improve cross-border supply chain visibility to retain its position as an Asian logistics hub, according to the findings of a new study.
"Strengthening connectivity between our markets and developing supportive infrastructure to form a 'single window' through which we can improve supply chain visibility will be crucial for Hong Kong," said OOIL chairman and CEO Tung Chee-chen.
Mr Tung, also chairman of sub-committee on infrastructural support, LOGSCOUNCIL, told the forum that it was necessary to move now "in step with the rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape and remain competitive."
He was commenting on the study, "Feasibility Study on Cross Border Supply Chain Visibility Across Guangdong, Hong Kong and Asia" that was presented at the Supply Chain E-Logistics Forum recently held in Hong Kong.
The study was conducted by GS1 Hong Kong in collaboration with the Asian Institute of Supply Chains & Logistics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and sponsored by the Hong Kong Logistics Development Council (LOGSCOUNCIL).
"The release of this study came at the best moment as it echoed APEC's initiative to improve cross-border supply chain connectivity," said GS1 Hong Kong CEO Anna Lin.
The study showed that Hong Kong has long been an entrepot and a regional logistics hub with geographical advantages and close ties to mainland China.
Trading and logistics account for 25 per cent of the city's GDP. With mainland China being Hong Kong's biggest trading partner, most cargo passes through Hong Kong as transshipments.
The trading landscape has evolved as mainland China has entered into free trade agreements (FTA) with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
Free trade induced the need for transparent information and connectivity across borders. To retain its competitiveness in a dynamic business landscape, Hong Kong's top priority is to secure supply chain visibility or risk losing out, said Ms Lin.
"Good supply chain management can be translated into cost reduction, increases in efficiency and reliability, and ultimately, increased profitability," said Hong Kong's permanent secretary for Transport and Housing (Transport) Joseph Lai.
"To achieve the APEC target of a 10 per cent improvement, we have been working constructively with other (APEC) member economies by sharing relevant knowledge, expertise and experience, particularly on capacity building projects," said Mr Lai.
The two main values of supply chain visibility are the abilities to provide advance cargo information, and to monitor cargo movement status and security, the forum heard.