Speech by CS at DHL Central Asia Hub Phase 3 Grand Opening (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, at the DHL Central Asia Hub Phase 3 Grand Opening today (November 14):

Dr Tobias Meyer (Chief Executive Officer of the DHL Group), Mr John Pearson (Chief Executive Officer of the DHL Express), Mr Ken Lee (Chief Executive Officer of the DHL Express Asia Pacific), Fred (Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, Mr Fred Lam), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon. I am happy to join you all today for the grand opening of the expanded Central Asia Hub of DHL Express.
     First of all, a warm welcome to our friends from overseas. And congratulations to DHL on delivering this major expansion project.
     Christmas is just a month away. While families look forward to receiving gifts, companies depend on reliable delivery of orders and signed contracts in your iconic red and yellow packaging. 
     After the challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic, business is back on track. DHL continues to be "part and parcel" of Hong Kong's positioning as an international hub for aviation and logistics.
     Over the years, DHL's Central Asia Hub has been growing from strength to strength. I am pleased to note that your expansion project will increase the hub's handling capacity by 50 per cent to over one million tonnes per year. 
     Your growth also goes hand in hand with that of the Hong Kong International Airport, the world's busiest cargo airport. 
     For one thing, we have the full support of the Central Government to develop eight specific sectors as international hubs. Most of them are directly relevant to your industry, namely aviation, transportation, trade, finance, and innovation and technology. These sectors have helped turn our city into an ideal place for business, people and ideas to get together.
     The Hong Kong Government will continue to work closely with the aviation and logistics industries.
     Following the Chief Executive's delivery of his second Policy Address, we rolled out the Action Plan on Modern Logistics Development just two weeks ago. The Plan sets out forward-looking strategies and actions to promote the high-quality and sustainable development of Hong Kong's logistics industry. 
     Specifically, the Plan leads the air cargo sector towards smart, green, sustainable, and high value-added development.
     DHL is an important partner for attaining these goals. Your expanded Central Asia Hub will surely support our airport's transformation from a city airport into an "Airport City". With our Three-Runway System scheduled for completion next year, your expanded Hub will be well-positioned to tap into the airport's increased cargo handling capability. 
     Upon full commissioning of the Three-Runway System, our airport is expected to reach the target of handling 10 million tonnes of cargo per year by 2035, more than double that of last year. 
     Apart from increasing capacity, we are targeting new growth opportunities from high-value and high-growth cargo segments. 
     Right here in this part of the Airport Island, you will find state-of-the-art facilities for handling temperature-controlled cargo such as fresh produce, live animals and pharmaceuticals. This is supported by skilled hands and prudent processes that meet, and exceed, international certification requirements.
     We are also strengthening our role as an air cargo transshipment hub for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, one of the world's largest manufacturing clusters and home to over 86 million potential customers. 
     For example, we are piloting a new transshipment mode. Export cargoes pre-screened in Dongguan can be transported by sea to the airside of our airport for direct transshipment to overseas destinations. This saves time and money, making Hong Kong a more efficient channel for trade between Mainland China and the rest of the world.
     E-commerce is another area that has seen remarkable growth in recent years. And here again, DHL is helping us "keep up with the clicks".
     The Airport Authority Hong Kong is co-operating with industry partners to enhance infrastructure for handling e-commerce-related cargo. Surely, your expanded Central Asia Hub is a good example of such collaborative efforts.
     All in all, I am confident that our city will remain DHL's best partner to power its logistics business in China - and across Asia.
     Ladies and gentlemen, my congratulations, once again, on the grand opening of your expanded Central Asia Hub. 
     I also hope that our guests from overseas will find time to see more of our dynamic city. 

     Thank you. 

Ends/Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Issued at HKT 14:39