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.

As Lord Mountevans noted, Hong Kong is home to one of the world's leading hub ports and an important gateway to mainland China. He commented:

"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 added that the cooperation can help the countries 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."

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.