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Seminar, Cocktail Reception and Dinner on theme The Greater Bay Initiative

2 July 2019 | 14:00 - 21:30

Past event


Business Seminar Reception and Dinner Great Success!

The annual  Business Seminar, Cocktail and Dinner of the NHKBA was held at the Mainport Hotel by Inntel in the heart of Rotterdam on Tuesday 2nd July.

The Seminar theme was : “The Greater Bay Initiative: a rival to Silicon Valley and Wall Street?”

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area or GBA) comprises the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, and the nine municipalities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province. The total area is 56,000 km2 and the total population was around 70 million by late 2017.

The goal of the Greater Bay Area initiative is to build a world-class city cluster across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau region. By 2030, the region is expected to play a leading role in advanced manufacturing, innovation, shipping, trade and finance, not only in China, but in the world.

During the free seminar on July 2nd, expert speakers from China, Hong Kong and Europe focused on the creation of the GBA as well as on the opportunities for Dutch companies in this area.

To view the photo album, please click here.



Mr. Andries Hendriksen
Advisor and Investor
Former resident of Hong Kong | Banker


Line up of confirmed speakers:


Ms. Fiona Chau
Deputy Representative
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels

Words of Welcome

The HKETO , Brussels, is the official representation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to the European Union and to 14 of its Member States.


Mr. Hans Poulis

Netherlands Hong Kong Business Association

The Netherlands Hong Kong Business Association, founded in 1978, promotes bilateral relations between the Netherlands and the Hong Kong SAR.


 Mr. Nicholas Kwan
Director of Research
Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Topic: The Greater Bay Initiative Explained: origin, purpose and opportunities.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly SMEs, in the mainland and international markets.

For more information about the research reports of the HKTDC, please click here.

To view the powerpoint presentation of Mr. Nicholas Kwan click here.


Ms.  Wenchian Shi
Architect and Urban Planner

Topic: Designing for the Greater Bay Initiative.

As Partner at MVRDV, architect and urban planner Wenchian Shi (1975, Shanghai, China) leads the firm’s Asia Studio. She received a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Shanghai Tongji University, followed by a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Delft University of Technology in 2002. Prior to joining MVRDV in 2004, Wenchian worked at OMA, contributing to the design of the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing. In 2008, after four years working at MVRDV, she became a project leader, overseeing work in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore.

To view the powerpoint presentation of Ms Wenchian Shi click here


Mr. Benno Leeser
Owner President
Gassan Diamonds.

Topic: Diamonds are Forever; How to attract customers in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

Gassan Diamonds was founded in 1945 by Benno Leeser’s grandfather Samuel Gassan. In 2013 it was named the “Family Company of the Year”. Mr Leeser received a Knighthood in 2016 when he became Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau. At present he is the owner and President of  22 Jewellery and Watch shops in Amsterdam, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Changi Airport in Singapore. Gassan Diamonds receives thousands of Chinese visitors in their diamond polishing factory in the Netherlands each year.

To view Part 1 of the powerpoint presentation of Mr Benno Leeser click here.

To view Part 2 of the powerpoint presentation of Mr Benno Leeser click here.


Mr. Edo Offerhaus
Managing Director

Topic: A Soft landing in the Greater Bay Area

Mr. Edo Offerhaus is Managing Director of NLinBusiness. Edo is a seasoned business executive with extensive experience in Europe, Latin America and the Far East. He started his career at Unilever and moved afterwards to FrieslandCampina, before starting his own consultancy firm supporting SMEs in their international expansion.  Between 1997 and 2007 he lived and worked in Guangzhou. Both of his children were born in Hong Kong.

To view the powerpoint presentation of Mr. Edo Offerhaus click here.


Mr. Jacco Bouw

Topic: Digital marketing strategies for the GBA.

Jacco founded Webpower in 1999. He is a specialist in the development of the e-mail marketing industry in both the Netherlands and China. In 2011 he became the Dutch Online Media Man of the year and one of the “Conquerors of the World” (an award for Dutch entrepreneurs who have successfully expanded their company overseas). He is the co-author of the book ‘Face I.T. – marketing to China’s netizens’. Jacco Bouw is board member of the Netherlands China Business Council.

To view the powerpoint presentation of Mr. Jacco Bouw click here


Mr. Robert Rubinstein
Chairman and Founding Partner
TBLI Group

Topic: Hong Kong as a Financial Centre;

Sustainable investing, opportunities in Hong Kong and the GBA.
The Mission of the TBLI Group is to create an inclusive values based economy. The main focus hereby is on the social, environmental (or ecological) and financial aspect of its investments.




 The reception and dinner

Any business(wo)man who has been in Hong Kong or China can tell you how important it is to enjoy a dinner with your business relations to build up relationships that will benefit all. A delicious buffet dinner was prepared for the guests.

Special guests, including Ms Fiona Chau, Deputy Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union; Jochum Haakma, Chairman Netherlands China Business Council and EU-China Business Association; joined NHKBA Chairman Hans Poulis and other members of the Netherlands Hong Kong Business Association and their guests.


Dinner Speeches

Dr. James Ding
Commissioner of Inclusive Dispute Avoidance and
Resolution Office
Department of Justice, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 

Dr James Ding obtained LL.B (Hons) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (Distinction) from the University of Hong Kong, LL.M from Kyushu University, Japan and Ph.D. from the University of Queensland, Australia. He became a barrister in Hong Kong in 1997
and joined the Department of Justice in 1999. He also taught on a part-time basis at the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong and the Open University of Hong Kong from 1998-1999. Was seconded to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law in the Netherlands in 2001. He attended negotiations of several Hague Conventions as a member of the Chinese delegation and was also a member of the Drafting Committee for the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.


Mr. Lucas de Man
Creator, presenter, TV Host and Artistic Director.

Lucas De Man (Belgium, 1982) graduated his studies as a Theatre Director in Amsterdam in 2008. Besides his work for New Heroes, Lucas De Man works as a freelance director, actor and concept developer for amongst others Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Frascati and Toneelgroep Amsterdam. He hosts a variety of cultural programs, gives lectures and is a guest lecturer at different schools every now and then. Lucas won several prizes for his directing work, and together with scenographer Pascal Leboucq he was nominated for a renowned Scenography award for their installation SKETCH.

Lucas performed part of his show ‘Meet the Millennials’. In Meet the millennials he will take you on a trip to China to meet the new generation millennials. He gave an insight into how these millennials make a difference in a complex and quickly changing world. Meet the Millennials proved more than a story, a travelogue or a documentary. It was a journey of discovery full of imagination that provided insight into today’s challenges.


Participation Fees

Seminar and reception only: Free of charge

Seminar, reception and dinner (limited number of seats available)

  • Members € 100 (excl VAT)
  • NCBC Members € 140 (ex VAT)
  • Non-members € 180 excl VAT

Price per corporate table of 8 persons: € 1800 excl VAT

The registration for this event has closed.

If you have any questions, please call 0626979799






2 July 2019
14:00 - 21:30


Netherlands Hong Kong Business Association
+31 626979799


Mainport Hotel
Leuvehaven 77
Rotterdam, Zuid Holland 3011 EA Netherlands
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