Simon and his two staff, Lisa and Paul, brought us to Lok Fu fresh market in Kowloon.
Upon arriving at the site, Simon turned over the briefing to Myron, a sharp, articulate, bright man who is an officer of The Link, the owner and administrator of the Luk Fo fresh market.
Below, our team. Simon Lee standing on left most, Myron is 3rd from right, with a portable microphone. More should have joined but our departure from the hotel was delayed by almost one hour because the bus that would pick us from our hotel somehow went to another location.
Then we sat on this simple row of tables where Myron gave more discussions, and we asked more questions. Some food samples, tea and red wine were also served us. Yummy and nice.
Then Myron bid ba-bye and Simon took over and continued the mini-lecture. Then we went to a nearby shopping mall, also owned by The Link. Then we headed back to the hotel in HK island. That night, I and my family flew back to Manila.
The next day, Sunday, November 09, I visited the Tejeros public market, not far from our house in Makati.
These sights are common in public markets in the Philippines.
In his Chairman's Message, Nick wrote,
Successful companies create value for the community as a whole. If they do not, in the long run they will fail to provide sustainable returns for their shareholders. Businesses, indeed all organisations, cannot survive if they are parasitic upon a community, rather than forming a part of it. Any organisation needs to explain to its owners, customers, and to the community at large, what it is “for” in the broadest sense, placing the business activities of The Link REIT in a community context.
The Link REIT’s business is very simple: we invest in, manage and operate property assets held by our Unitholders. These assets currently comprise shopping centres, car parks and a small number of other commercial assets in Hong Kong. If we are to succeed in maximising the value of these assets for our Unitholders, we need to attract the communities living and working around our locations to come and shop in our centres, rather than those of our competitors. Only if we achieve that objective can our tenants generate sales and fund the rents they pay to us.
Amen to that, Nick. Only the free enterprise system and its fierce competition culture, not more government regulations, restrictions and prohibitions, can ensure good service to clients and consumers. By raising the bar of competition, you and your team are giving lots of public service to ordinary consumers.
I just hope that your model can be replicated by other entrepreneurs here in the Philippines and other developing Asian economies. But our politics and governments here are different. If the owner/s of existing public markets are friends to incumbent politicians and Mayors, potential competing public markets cannot be given a business franchise or permit. So most big entrepreneurs here offer clean wet markets to consumers only via supermarkets and malls.
Myron, Acky and Kevin are nice and friendly people of The Link. Thanks to them. And thanks to Simon and his team too for that generous and free tour. HK photos, some from my camera phone, some from Lisa's dropbox link.
Asian Capitalism Inching Up, September 21, 2010
Old Debate on Competition and Markets, June 15, 2012
The Pope and Capitalism, December 03, 2013
Lion Rock 16: 10th Anniversary of LRI, November 07, 2014