Hong Kong a full branch this year? Europe is uniting, slowly but surely KaDO band From Hong Kong, Rabobank looks after its business in Hong Kong and China. The office is located on the 16th floor of a 50-storey office tower in a building complex on the water front in central Hong Kong. The same building houses the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and nu- merous banks and company of fices, altogether employing 12,000 people. Enough for the economie existence of a small 'Dutch City' in the building. Rabobank contributes eight people to this total. In 1992 the twelve member countries of the EC will open their ontiers giving rise to an internal European market which will as- sure its 323 million inhabitants of the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. European unification will bring fresh opportunities and threats to European banks, as also to other concerns. Rabobank already has offices in Great Britain, West Germany, France, Beigium and Luxembourg and next on the list for this year are Italy and Spain. In countries where Rabobank is not represented the best course is probably to co- operate with other banks. Issue 3/April 5, 1989 Hong Kong is one of the major cen- tres for finance, trading and bank ing in the world. Because of its openness and liberal tax regime, many syndications are arranged from Hong Kong, funds are managed from Hong Kong and securities are traded. Besides that, Hong Kong has a bustling harbour, is a newly industrialized country with a strong export and flourishes as the gateway to China. More than 400 banks are repre- sented in Hong Kong by a representative office, a branch or a Deposit Taking Com- pany (DTC), a financial institution with a limited licence. Hence there is enough competition, but most of these institutions manage to find their own niche in this mar- ket and earn a living. Every year, there are around ten newcomers, indicating that still more banks want to be in Hong Kong. Hong Kong and China Within the pol- icy of Rabobank, the Hong Kong Represen tative Office concentrates on Dutch and agri-related business. It means that much time and effort is spent to gain and main- tain knowledge on Hong Kong and China for use by our customers. This has led to arious projects being financed by Rabobank. Next to this, contacts have been built up with multinational compa- nies. It proves to be very powerful if the same company is served in various parts of the world by the same bank. Finally, we have participated in several syndications although the priority is not in that busi ness. The above activities make money, others that do not but were still interesting in the past three years, were of course the The EC was formed in 1958 by the member countries Beigium, West Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. This was a great boost to the Nether lands economy as it became much easier for agricultural and industrial products to find their way to the other member states. In 1973 the community of six became nine when it was joined by Denmark, Great Britain and Ireland, then in 1980 it was joined by Greece to become ten and in 1986 Spain and Portugal brought the total to twelve. weeping tourist without money, the crook with tens of millions to be transferred or invested, chasing a debtor of a member The removal of trade barriers within the EC and the increased competition which this encouraged did much to stimulate in- dustry in the Netherlands and the econo my flourished, particularly in the 1960s. This led to a policy of expansion and ratio- nalisation of production methods, both es- sential to the competitive position of the Netherlands in the new industrial climate. Another result of joining the EC was that the Netherlands became even more impor tant as a transit country. The ease of ac cess from the North Sea makes the Delta area with Rotterdam, the gateway to Eu- bank's customer, arranging a mortgage in the Netherlands, having documents signed on behalf of member banks, etc. Later this year, the Hong Kong Rep Of fice may be upgraded to a full branch. Re- ports and recommendations to that effect will be discussed soon by the Board of Rabobank Nederland. The branch and factoring activities are two challenges for the Hong Kong staff in 1989 and thereafter. We are certain that in the turbulent business climate of Hong Kong the two new challenges can also be brought to profit in a foreseeable future. The key to this will be the people who work for us. With 1997 and the transfer of the government of Hong Kong to China looming, many professionals are leaving Hong Kong, making an already competitive personnel market even more competitive. In spite of that, we have a dedicated and responsible staff, which may also be be cause of the challenges we offer. rope and consequently the hub of econom ie activity. In addition to the expanding port and transit with their back-up services the area also became a key location for inter- nationally oriented industry. The metal and petrochemical industries in particular un- derwent rapid growth and helped to create a favourable climate for numerous other in dustries. Since the Second World War, the Dutch economy has seen almost continu- ous expansion; in the period 1959-1971 alone, national income doubled in real terms. The Netherlands has always been a strong advocate of free trade. The Benelux Customs Union, consisting of Beigium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, reflects this thinking and is still the most advanced form of international economie coopera- tion. In the EC too, the traditional Dutch advocacy of free trade is always in evi- dence. The Netherlands wishes to see the EC contributing to balanced expansion of world trade, while at the same time up- holding the interests of developing coun tries and eliminating wherever possible re- maining obstacles to free trade between member states such as discrepancies in regulations. It considers that effective ways of coordinating the economie and financial policies of member states must be found with the aim of gradually creating an eco nomie and monetary union in which powers will ultimately be transferred to a suprana- tional European executive. In the view of the Netherlands government, the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979 were a step in the right direction.

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'Raboband International' (EN) | 1989 | | pagina 7