HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 10 June 2021 – The GS1 HK Summit 2021 ("the Summit") was held successfully today at the HK Convention & Exhibition Centre attracting more than 1,300 delegates from cross-sector trades joining in-person and online. Broadcasted live for the first time, the Summit steps into its 20th edition this year. The full-day event covered hot topics in digital retailing, digital trade finance, smart business operations, global supply chain resilience and business trends in the Greater Bay Area. With the aim to help enterprises embrace virtual business opportunities, the Summit was co-located with the GOVirtual Business Expo, jointly hosted by GS1 HK and Baobab Tree Event Management Co., Ltd. (BTE), running from 10 June to 12 June.


Mr. Alfred Sit, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, inaugurated the Summit as the Guest of Honour and delivered the opening address. "Today's summit and the Expo is an opportune time for the industry to re-adjust business strategies after consolidating the experiences under the 'new normal', creating new value for both the business community as well as Hong Kong economy. Digital transformation is indeed the 'hope' to businesses under the 'new normal'. The Government has made strenuous effort in assisting enterprises in this regard, including the Distance Business Programme, the Public Sector Trial Scheme, the Technology Voucher Programme and the Re-industrialisation Funding Scheme. All these are conducive to the development of "Industry 4.0" and smart city in the aftermath of the epidemic," said Mr. Sit at the start of the event.


Mr. Victor Lam, Government Chief Information Officer and Legislative Councillors Mr. Frankie Yick and Mr. Peter Shiu, were joined by Mr. Kelvin Leung, Chairman of GS1 HK; Ms. May Chung, Vice Chairman of GS1 HK; Ms. Anna Lin, Chief Executive of GS1 HK and Mr. Ricky Wong, Vice Chairman & Group Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong Television Network Limited as officiating guests. In Dr. Leung's welcome remarks, he underlined the role of digital transformation in business development, where reliable, transparent, accurate, timely data is the key. He explained the GS1 global standards ensure the availability of high-quality data and help bridge the physical and digital worlds, by creating a digital version of a product called digital twin. This online identity allows sellers to list their products easily on Alibaba, Amazon, eBay and other e-marketplaces, while supporting Google to correctly classify products and match relevant online information to consumers' queries, improving search results, generating sales leads and increasing conversion.


Ms. Lin echoed the importance of standards in the collection and sharing of quality data, and believes data analytics can separate leaders from followers. "Data intelligence helps enhance market forecast and drive better business decisions. With emerging technologies like AI and video analytics, retailers can capitalise on 'Smart Retail' solutions to collect consumers' demographic and behaviourial data and deliver more engaging experience to boost sales. The use of IoT sensors and RFID devices in daily workflow has helped manufacturers, logistics service providers and the like to monitor operational data in real-time and optimise resources as needed. Enterprises equipped with such kind of "Smart Operations" systems will be able to improve productivity, reduce wastage, ensure safety and quality, and shorten their time-to-market."


Mr. Ricky Wong, Vice Chairman & Group Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Television Network Limited kicked off the Summit with a keynote speech titled "Way Beyond eCommerce" urging businesses to be agile and always thinking out of the box. He encouraged enterprises to draw strength from partners and allies for more innovative cross-sector opportunities. In the Executive Panel, CEO Panel, various plenary sessions and track sessions that followed, thought-leaders from a mix of industries presented ideas that can help businesses stay ahead of the curve. Some of the most topical discussions included COVID-19 vaccine traceability and the evolution of supply chain strategy from "just-in-time" and "just-in-case".


Culminating the event was the Closing Plenary: The Entrepreneur Forum where inspiring stories of how three local companies charted their own course into the new future were told. Localla diversified its bike sharing business to food ordering service; Culture Homes transformed traditional elderly homes into technology-enabled neighborhood; German Pool tapped into the Greater Bay Area with new marketing stunts such as live commerce. These new business strategies all stemmed from the entrepreneurial spirit to "Go Digital * Go Smart" and have set the foundation for long-run success.  


Many more similar business anecdotes are included in a new report, Retail Realignment: The road ahead for omnichannel in the Greater Bay Area, jointly published by KPMG China, GS1 Hong Kong and HSBC. The report is based the collective wisdoms of 400 senior retail executives and a survey conducted among 2,053 consumers in Hong Kong and nine mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area. It examines the changing consumer behaviours and expectations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the latest technology and retail trends in the Greater Bay Area sector, and provides recommendations for businesses to advance their corporate strategy and digital offerings to satisfy consumers' evolving preferences. Please read the press release "Greater Bay Area retailers increase focus on digital strategies" for more details.

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