Challenges and opportunities for logistics companies

Among the highlights of the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference (ALMC) was the plenary session, “Where Opportunity Knocks – Asia Supply Chain Wedged between Challenging Geopolitics. The moderator was Patrick Lau, Deputy Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (left). Speakers (from second-left) were Coleman Nee, Senior Economist, Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade […]


Among the highlights of the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference (ALMC) was the plenary session, “Where Opportunity Knocks – Asia Supply Chain Wedged between Challenging Geopolitics. The moderator was Patrick Lau, Deputy Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (left). Speakers (from second-left) were Coleman Nee, Senior Economist, Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization; Kamun Chang, Managing Director, Li & Fung Development (China) Limited; Lau Teck Sien, Partner & CEO, HOPU Investments; Robbert van Trooijen, Senior Vice President and Head of Asia Pacific Region, Maersk; and Katsuhiko Umetsu, Senior Executive Officer, Yamato Holdings Co, Ltd, who shared their views on Asia’s supply chain playing a larger global role amid worldwide trade disputes and uncertainties.

Ongoing trade disputes and uncertainties around the globe, along with ever-changing trade and consumption patterns, present both challenges and opportunities to the logistics sector. These and related subjects were examined by logistics, maritime and aviation industry players from around the world at the ninth Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on 19-20 November.

Rising tensions divert trade
The first Plenary Session, “Where Opportunity Knocks – Asia Supply Chain Wedged between Challenging Geopolitics”, focused on Asia’s supply chain playing a larger global role as worldwide trade disputes and uncertainties impact the industry.
“Trade tensions are rising around the world, resulting in a dramatic spike in import-restrictive measures.” said Coleman Nee, Senior Economist, Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization (WTO). He pointed out that the WTO’s most recent report on trade restrictions, published in June, showed that the trade coverage of new import-restrictive measures imposed from October 2018 to May 2019 was more than 3.5 times the average since May 2012. World merchandise trade volume grew just 0.6% in the first half of 2019, and the dip in both imports and exports in Asia was similar to that in the 2015/16 slowdown.