SME Quarterly Update

Supported by the SME & Start-up Committee



Corin Wilson, Director, Trade and Investment, British Consulate-General Hong Kong

Elizabeth Fung, Political Assistant to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong SAR Government

Paul Gardner, Founder, Fresh Accounting

Phil Aldridge, COO, FunctionEight Ltd


SME Quarterly Update

The SME community in Hong Kong makes up a significant part of the economy – making up 98% of all businesses and employing 45% of the overall workforce. It also contributes a significant proportion of the British Chamber of Commerce membership. However, the majority of the news focuses on the performance of the major corporations, and the impact that financial and political policy has on them. The SME Committee would like to fill this information gap, and provide an SME update to the Chamber. We will focus on:

  • The latest overview of the health of the SME community in Hong Kong – Elizabeth Fung, Political Assistant to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, HK Government
  • What the committee is doing to support the SME community – Phil Aldridge, COO FunctionEight and Chairman, British Chamber of Commerce, SME Committee
  • How the Department for International Trade are supporting SMEs in Hong Kong – Corin Wilson, Director, Trade & Investment, Department for International Trade, UK Government
  • What SMEs need to be thinking about from a financial and regulatory perspective – Paul Gardner, CEO, Fresh Accounting


This session is designed to be both an insightful general update for the Chamber, as well as provide useful information for the wider SME community.



Details on how to join will be sent via email by 5pm the day before the webinar.


About the speakers

Corin is a career diplomat with nearly twenty years focussing on international trade for the UK Government.

Corin began his diplomatic career in China, based in Beijing, focussing on investment into the UK. Working with companies including China Mobile, Bank of China, Huawei from 2005 to 2009, he also led on Ministerial delegations to and from China including to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Upon returning from a posting to South Africa where he focused on the energy sector and supporting South African investment into the UK, Corin established the UK Government’s first commercial team on smart cities. Working globally to promote UK technological expertise in areas including intelligent transport systems, energy efficiency and data analytics, Corin also led trade missions to South East Asia and Europe as well as the UK’s presence at the Smart Cities Expo, Barcelona, from 2014 to 2016.

In 2016 Corin took up a posting in India, leading the UK’s advanced engineering interests. Promoting UK expertise in areas including aerospace, automotive and advanced manufacturing techniques, Corin worked closely with companies including Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Tata, Mahindra and Godrej. Before leaving India in 2020 he also led on UK/India collaboration in the space industry.

Corin has been Director, Trade & Investment in the Department for International Trade, based in the British Consulate General, Hong Kong since September 2020. Leading teams focussing on industries including technology and innovation, financial services, infrastructure and creative, he is also part of the wider British Consulate General campaign on sustainability in advance of COP26.


Elizabeth is Political Assistant to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development at the Hong Kong Government. She helps bring stakeholder views to policy teams, takes part in legislative work, and assists the Secretary in engaging a wider group of stakeholders, including startups, business chambers, industry associations, and professionals, amongst others.

Prior to joining the government, she worked at an international communications agency, supporting corporations, multilateral organisations, government bodies, and NGOs on policy advocacy, public education, corporate communications, and issues management.


Paul is a Chartered Management Accountant with extensive experience working with SMEs, business start-ups and internationally-minded businesses. Originally from London, Paul moved to Hong Kong in 2014 and established Fresh Accounting within a month of arriving. The Singapore office was established a few years later in 2017.
Working within fast growing businesses and teams, Paul understands the importance of developing and managing relationships and has a proven track record of both implementing and maintaining accounting systems and processes. Paul understands the importance of accounting for SMEs and is a big advocate of cloud accounting.
Prior to establishing Fresh Accounting, Paul gained extensive experience working across several business industries and sectors including: Professional services and management consultancies; Marketing, PR, Design & Creative & Media; Technology & e-commerce; Distribution; Not-for-profit.


Phil Aldridge is COO of FunctionEight Ltd. Headquartered in Hong Kong and with regional offices in Singapore and New Zealand, FunctionEight provides IT Managed Services and private cloud computing solutions to SME's and Regional Offices of MNC's across the APAC region. As COO Phil heads up the product, marketing and sales functions, as well as providing technical oversight.

Phil has been in Hong Kong since 1991 and having worked in various firms in positions of Regional IT manager or similar he joined FunctionEight in 2006.



  • Member: Free of Charge
  • Non-Member: HK$250



Terms & Conditions

  • Reservations in advance are required. Please consider your booking confirmed unless notified otherwise.
  • Cancellations must be made in writing 24 hours prior to the event. No shows will be charged.
  • This event is closed to the media.
  • The event will be cancelled if the No.8 Typhoon signal or the Black Rain Storm warning is in force.
  • By attending this event, you agree to be photographed, recorded, and/or filmed and give permission to use your likeness in promotional and/or marketing materials.
  • For further information please email [email protected]
  • All payments for this event need to be settled by credit card through PayPal. Please note you do not need a PayPal account to complete payment.
11/4/2021 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
China Standard Time
Webinar (Details Will Be Shared By 5pm on the Day Before the Webinar)

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