Asia’s pioneer of innovative living space celebrates forty years of success
Managing Director Victor Cha spoke with Synergy Media Specialists.
“With a projection to grow by three to four per cent in 2018, we are cautiously optimistic regarding the Hong Kong economy and the government’s proposal to reduce profit tax could also help boost overall sentiment. According to the World Bank and the IMF, China’s economy is expected to grow by around 6.5 per cent and backed by such a strong market, Hong Kong will benefit from this. Though trade tensions between China and the US pose uncertainty to the global economy, we believe that the Central government will strive to reduce the impact brought by potential trade conflicts. For Hong Kong’s property market, the demand for residential property remains high and while there is a possibility the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, strong monetary liquidity and the fiercely competitive mortgage market in Hong Kong should make the banks less likely to follow”.
“New policies enacted by the HKSAR government, which include plans to offer affordable homes, together with an expected gradual easing of demand-supply balance of flats resulting from a projected increase in flat production in the coming few years, may impact the market. As a company, we have always focused on long-term sustainable development and as such we welcome a more healthy market on which we can further build our businesses. The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area will present another opportunity for Hong Kong and neighbouring cities. With the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, connectivity will be vastly enhanced and further strengthen Hong Kong’s position as a regional hub”.
With developments in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Asia; in what areas of your business are you seeing the most growth?
“Stable growth is being recorded across our core business segments. Last year our flagship project in mainland China, HKRI Taikoo Hui, came into full operation and our CDW Building in Hong Kong was converted to a quality commercial complex. We expect these two projects to generate stable rental revenue for the Group. Meanwhile we are also optimistic towards the residential property market in Hong Kong, Yangtze River Delta, Bangkok and Tokyo. Recently we acquired two new land lots in Jiaxing, mainland China and we are also planning a large- scale residential property project in Bangkok”.
“For our hospitality businesses in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bangkok, these popular cities attract visitors from around the world and we are confident that our hotels in these three cities can leverage on this trend. In Japan, we will continue to look for suitable opportunities”.
How important is Japan to your business and do you expect your Japanese business portfolio to increase?
“Our investment properties in Japan provide good rental income and a reasonable yield of approximately five per cent. Our key business strategies are to distribute our business equally across three geographical areas: Hong Kong, mainland China and the rest of Asia while maintaining a balanced income from our different business segments, especially property development and investment. Our business in Japan is a perfect fit into these two main strategies and we will continue to look for suitable investment opportunities in Japan as we believe our Japan business will provide stable growth”.
Where do you see the Hong Kong-Japan relationship heading in the future?
“Hong Kong and Japan have a long-term close trade and business relationship. Japan is Hong Kong’s fourth largest export market and fourth largest source of imports, while Hong Kong is the largest export destination for Japanese foodstuffs. In light of Hong Kong’s position as a regional trade centre, many Japanese companies are using Hong Kong as their regional headquarters or regional offices to oversee their business activities in other Asian economies, including mainland China. We expect the relationship between Hong Kong and Japan to grow. Overseas and Mainland companies continue to value Hong Kong as the prime location for regional operations in Asia, mainly because of its simple tax system and low tax rate, free flow of information, free port status, geographical location and corruption free government. According to the latest government statistics, twenty per cent of companies were confident and indicated that they may expand their business in Hong Kong over the next three years. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will continue to play a pivotal role in facilitating trade and business between Hong Kong and other countries, including Japan”.
What message do you have for our readers in Hong Kong, Japan and the rest of the world regarding HKRI’s continued commitment to customers and partners across the Asian region?
“HKR International Limited just celebrated its fortieth anniversary and we are glad to say we have attained a number of remarkable achievements as we turn a new page in this milestone year. We have transformed from a property developer into a conglomerate with diversified businesses across Asia. We shall continue to develop quality lifestyle projects leveraging our core competencies of innovation and creativity. We strive to build livable communities for our customers and continue to uphold our values of respecting our environment and individuals and pursuing excellence and quality in all our projects and the markets we operate in”.
“Recognizing the difference we might make, we are committed to continuously investing in the environment and our people and over the years we have laid a solid foundation for our future development. While new and changing conditions may result in challenges, we are confident that with the wealth of experience which we have accumulated, our pioneering spirit and our vision to create healthy, stylish and distinctive living experiences, the Group is well equipped to embrace these challenges and will continue to excel in our business operations”.