Transport Industry Relations in Hong Kong and the Impact of China Joining the WTO
The continued globalization of the world has provided a blending of businesses around the planet. The blending has been seen for the most part as a positive event as it allows businesses to expand their customer data bases on a much broader scale. The globalization also provides the opportunity to streamline operations as companies seek out the most cost effective locations, workforces and supplies for their product or service. The ability to streamline, downsize and expand with a much wider range of options today is generally seen as a positive aspect of the globalization. With all changes however, there are negative elements that must be considered as well. The globalization has torn down walls and opened doors that had been immovable for hundreds if not thousands of years in the past, but for those regions that had come to depend solely on themselves and their resources for survival the globalization movement has presented some unique issues.
China is one area that is facing some of those issues currently. China has moved forward in joining the rest of the world after many years of being self isolated and self dependent. Today China and in particular Hong Kong has moved toward joining the world in many areas of business. One of the most pressing dilemmas facing Hong Kong today is the transport industry. The transport industry is confusing and unstable at the moment and it is caused by several factors. Hong Kong has the responsibility to lead its residents into a prosperous future. The recent admission of China to the World Trade Organization, while promising to provide positive benefits for those involved has also changed the playing field when it comes to many of Hong Kong's industries including the transport industry.
This paper will propose a study that will assess the changes the transport industry is experiencing, how those changes are affecting the industry and what might be done about it from a Human Resource Management perspective.
Statement of Problem
Instrument for Study
Data Collection method
How this study will help future studies
The obstacles this study will face
The world is becoming more globalized with each passing year. Businesses around the world are reaching out to areas they never before were in. They work at maximizing the opportunities that the globalization has provided for them, and at the same time they work at economizing in their efforts so as to expand their profit margins and bottom lines. While it is an exciting time in the business world it is also a risky venture for many as the bottom line becomes the focus and nations can offer businesses rates that cannot always be competed with at home. The United States is one nation that is currently struggling with this aspect of globalization as businesses begin to move their operations around the world where they can obtain more cost effective employees and supplies. With the recent entrance of China to the World Trade Organization it has opened a new range of possibilities not only for those who trade with China but for those who work in China as well. Hong Kong has received much attention in recent years as it has worked to build its business relationships and strongholds and modernized its way of doing things. One of the things that is being currently overwhelmed in Hong Kong is the transport industry. The transport industry has worked to keep up with the influx of changes that recent business decisions have brought to its door. With the entrance of China to the World Trade Organization there have been changes to all of the region's industry which have worked to create stress in the transport industry.
The transport industry of Hong Kong from a Human Resource Management issue has several elements that currently need to be addressed. The industry is working to maintain its previous method of doing things while at the same time incorporating many of the new ideas and abilities brought about by the globalization of the world and the entrance of China into the World Trade Organization. Within those efforts the industry is faced with many decisions to make including whether to invest in retraining of current workers to compete with the ability to bring in outside workers, and how to handle the constantly expanding need for solid transport ability now that the world and China have shaken hands and agreed to co-mingle for the sake of business. This topic is one that warrants study and the answers to questions that will allow the improvement of Hong Kong's transport industry from a human relations management viewpoint.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The problem in the transport industry has become magnified because of the entrance of China into the WTO for several reasons. The entrance has caused a long awaited and immediate influx of business from around the world. China, and Hong Kong in particular have a large market for trade and the world has waited many years to be able to tap into the market. Once that was opened for access the stampede began. Both influx and outgo was and is being experienced by the region of Hong Kong and in that frenzy the transport industry has become overloaded (Dire, 2000).
The transport and logistics industry is vital to Hong Kong's economic growth, Secretary for Economic Services Sandra Lee said when addressing the first International Summit on Transport and Logistics opportunities in the Internet Age (Vital, 2001).
As one of the world's top 10 trading economies, we must continue to build and expand on our role as a global trader," Lee said. "After all trading - and by extension, transport and logistics - has been our lifeblood for over a century and a half,"she noted (Vital, 2001).
Lee said Hong Kong thrived on transport and that was particularly the case in the use of its magnificent deep-water port as the principal artery for its physical connection to the world (Vital, 2001).
Statistics showed that Hong Kong operates the world's busiest container port -- over 18 million container "boxes" last year, more than 216, 000 vessels of all sizes, some 380 container-liner services per week, and over 500 links to the world (Vital, 2001). It is adding to that capacity with the construction of a new container terminal (Vital, 2001).
A new Marine Cargo Terminal at the airport will reportedly begin operating at the end of this month providing direct 24-hour access to 16 ports in the Pearl River Delta, and the Airport Authority has recently awarded a tender for the development of a 1.4 hectare logistics center to further expand the airport's capabilities (Vital, 2001).
Participants in Monday's meeting believed that China's membership of the World Trade Organization will deliver renewed impetus to the growth of regional trade and new opportunities for Hong Kong's transport and logistics sector. Turning to impact of the Internet Age, Lee said the advent of the Information Age had probably done more than anything else to revolutionize key aspects of the global supply chain and the implementation of advanced manufacturing systems (Vital, 2001).
Hong Kong, with its telecommunications backbone and IT expertise, has the vision of becoming Asia's world city with a flourishing e- business infrastructure (Vital, 2001)."
The opening of air and land ports of entry has been instrumental in facilitating the foreign trade flow and international tourism of the inland Shanxi Province (Ports, 1997). Last year, Shanxi in north China scored the fastest growth rate of overseas investment in the country, a situation which provincial officials attribute partially to the improved ports of entry (Ports, 1997). In August (Ports, 1997), 1993, Taiyuan Airport in the provincial capital opened a chartered flight route to Hong Kong, thus becoming Shanxi's first port of entry (Ports, 1997). Over the past three years, more than 300 chartered flights were flown between Taiyuan and Hong Kong, transporting approximately 20,000 passengers (Ports, 1997). In addition, the airport has also accommodated medical, tourist, and cargo chartered flights from Britain, Japan, and the United States (Ports, 1997). And a chartered route for cargo flight recently was added to Belarus.A new terminal building, which was built at a cost of 250 million yuan (30.12 million U.S. dollars), was put into use in the airport and has improved the airport's conditions (Ports, 1997). A land port of entry was opened last year in Taiyuan to handle customs procedures for international containers entering and leaving Shanxi which would otherwise be done at major sea ports in coastal cities (Ports, 1997). "
All of this proves the need for a state of the art method of dealing with the transport industry of Hong Kong. The need for a plan of action is evidenced by the explosion that is occurring in the industry today. The decision to expand services, retrain current workers, teach workers additional skills sets to make them more valuable and other things are all possible options…