Representatives of the British and Hong Kong maritime business sectors have agreed to forge a closer working relationship and today (12 Sept 2017) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in London during London International Shipping Week. Under the terms of the agreement Maritime London and the Hong Kong Maritime & Port Board (HKMPB) will co-operate in a range of areas including promotional activity, training and sharing of best practice for maritime business services. The agreement was signed by Chan Fan, Frank, JP, Secretary for Transport & Housing, Hong Kong Government and Maritime London Chairman, Lord Mountevans at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Also present were leading representatives from the Hong Kong shipowning community and the UK Minister of State for Transport Legislation and Maritime, John Hayes, CBE, MP. Lord Mountevans commented: "The Hong Kong and UK maritime business communities have a unique historical relationship and very strong ties. Nearly 10% of the world's ships are managed or owned in Hong Kong, it is home to one of the world's leading hub ports and an important gateway to mainland China. Both the UK and Hong Kong look beyond their borders and provide world beating maritime expertise to global shipowners, traders and charterers. This agreement is designed to help both London and Hong Kong businesses collaborate and prosper with the support of their respective representative bodies." Secretary Chan said: "By working together, London and Hong Kong can grow together. Both cities are key international shipping and trading hubs with a shared outward looking and entrepreneurial spirit. Both serve regions beyond their own borders and both have an exciting future. We are delighted by the prospect of a closer working relationship than ever before." HKMPB was set up by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2016 to foster the development of Hong Kong's maritime and port services. Maritime London is a promotional body for UK-based companies providing professional services to the international shipping industry. Trading and logistics are a major economic pillar for Hong Kong, accounting for 22% of its GDP and 20% of employment. The UK maritime business services sector which includes shipbroking, financial, legal, education and insurance services contributes £3.5bn to the UK economy and supports 48,600 jobs.