Business Abroad: Hong Kong 2018

Business Abroad: Hong Kong 2018

Towards the end of November, Michael and four of our graduate surveyors (Joe, Will, John and George) travelled to Hong Kong and Macau via Helsinki to attend a series of RICS events.

As a RICS global panel member, Michael had a series of important meetings and conferences to attend such as the RICS AGM where he and fellow RICS professionals cast their vote regarding the governance of the RICS. The RICS posted this on social media following the vote: "At our 2018 AGM RICS professionals have voted to change our governance, ensuring we remain a professional body fit for the 21st century, trusted to set and enforce the profession’s standards. This is a positive step forward for the organisation as it allows RICS to be appropriately structured to continue building a global professional body ready to equip the profession for the challenges and opportunities ahead. This will allow RICS to meet the changing expectations of stakeholders, clients and the wider public.". 

Michael was also in attendance for the inauguration of the new RICS president Chris Brooks FRICS at the RICS global council meeting. RICS on LinkedIn: "Chris is a chartered surveyor and co-founder of Brooke Husband Ltd, a property consulting firm based in Hong Kong. During his Presidential year, Chris will focus on three key themes – promoting the work surveyors do, making sure the profession is prepared for the future, and speaking out on the big issues of our time."

Whilst Michael was busy attending the RICS Governing Council meeting, the graduates travelled across to Macau (China) to visit historical monuments such as the ruins of St Paul. The ruins of St Paul were originally built from 1602 to 1640 by the Jesuits, this was the largest Catholic Church in Asia before its destruction in a fire in 1835. 

Michael and the graduates attended the RICS and SCC Prop-Tech Conference 2018 at the at the International Commerce Building/Ritz-Carlton. The conference aimed to discuss how the future of the built environment should grasp potential opportunities that may lead to a technologized future. The day consisted of a series of presentations and debates on some of the current 'hot-topics' relating to the built-environment. Presentations were made on the following topics, as well as a series of other presentations and panel discussions relating to the potential for a technologized future:

  • Smart Cities (by Dr Winnie Tang, President of the Smart City Consortium SCC),
  • Emerging technologies (by Ed Parsons - a leading geospatial technologist at Google), 
  • Smart Cities, Technology and Urbanisation - a global perspective (by James Kavanagh MRICS - Global Land Standards Director),
  • RICS Digital Standards (by Andrew Knight - International Data Standards Director),
  • The Rise of Big Data (by Dr Peter Kwan)

One thing that stood out to us during our time in Hong Kong was the impressive infrastructure. Hong Kong International Airport ('Chek Lap Kok Airport') in particular took us by surprise. This airport is built upon reclaimed land from the sea and is the ‘world's busiest cargo gateway’. Following the 15-hour journey from Manchester to Hong Kong, we were immediately shepherded onto a train to transport us from one section of the airport to another for baggage collection, this places some emphasis on the sheer size of the airport and the efficiency of the infrastructure in place. Throughout our time in Hong Kong, the public transport was fast and efficient, and there was minimal road traffic, which again took us by surprise, considering that Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas of the world. 

Visiting Hong Kong with the RICS proved to be a fantastic opportunity and experience and has certainly provided us with an opportunity to view the built environment from a different and unique global perspective.