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Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)

HKTDC Chairman Jack So Bids Farewell Business and Political Leaders Attend Reception for Mr So

Media release.
Published: 25-May-2015 10:19 am
Publisher: Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)

About 700 government officials and business leaders gathered at a cocktail reception this evening (22 May) in honour of Jack So, outgoing Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), who will complete his term at the end of this month. Among the attendees representing the Hong Kong SAR Government were Acting Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Financial Secretary John Tsang. Other political and business leaders attending the event included President of the Legislative Council Jasper Tsang, Regina Ip, Chow Chung Kong and Frederick Ma.


In his speech, Mr So thanked his colleagues at the HKTDC for their support and understanding during his years with the Council, which he described as “the happiest time of my life.”


He also spoke about Hong Kong’s future role in the development of the Chinese mainland. “A new challenge will be to synchronise Hong Kong’s role with China’s 13th Five-Year Plan and our role in the “One Belt, One Road” programme,” Mr So said.


“The TDC has many offices in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ footprint and Hong Kong is in a good position to offer its services to the motherland in the 21st Century.”


HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong paid tribute to Mr So for his contributions to the Council. She said: “During his nearly 15-year association with the TDC, especially in his role as Chairman for the past seven-plus years, Jack has helped guide us through a period of transformation, challenge and growth.


“He also pioneered the Hong Kong Business Associations overseas, which today comprises a network of 39 associations with some 11,000 members in 28 countries, “all acting as Hong Kong’s ambassadors around the world. This would not have been possible without Jack.” 


As Executive Director from 1985-1992, Mr So spearheaded the building of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, enabling the local exhibition industry to grow. He was appointed HKTDC Chairman in 2007. Since then, he advocated the development of Hong Kong’s services industries.


Pioneering Spirit

Among the other speakers at the reception was HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Sophia Chong, who praised Mr So for his vision and determination. “When people are merely talking about ideas, our Chairman went straight into making them happen,” Ms Chong said, citing Mr So’s initiatives that helped to reinvigorate Hong Kong’s film industry.


Mr So’s commitment to providing value to customers and exceeding their expectations contributed to the HKTDC’s success, according to Ms Chong.  “This philosophy ensures that we are always close to the market and stay relevant to our stakeholders,” she said.


Other speakers at the ceremony were HKTDC Council Member Andrew Leung, and business leader Lawrence Ma, CEO of Lee Heng Diamond Group. Mr Leung praised Mr So for being a trendsetter and visionary. He was particularly impressed by Mr So’s move to set up the Council’s first mainland office, in Beijing, back in 1986, helping Hong Kong traders make inroads to China.  Mr Ma highlighted Mr So’s outstanding leadership and management abilities, saying he was always “doing the right things and doing things right.”


Distinguished Career

Mr So began his career with the Hong Kong Government before joining the private sector in 1978, holding several senior positions in stockbroking, banking and property development.  In addition to his roles at the HKTDC, Mr So was Chairman and Chief Executive of the MTR Corporation in 1995 and served as Deputy Chairman and Group Managing Director of PCCW from 2003 to 2007.


Mr So has been a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference since 2008 and is an International Business Advisor to the Mayor of Beijing.  He was appointed Honorary Consultant to the Mayor of San Francisco in May 2013. Mr So will take up the post of Chairman of the Airport Authority Hong Kong on 1 June.  Mr Vincent Lo will take up the position of HKTDC Chairman on 1 June.


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