Simon Galpin accolades roll in as word spreads of departure

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Simon Galpin will leave InvestHK on a tide of goodwill from the business and diplomatic community.

Photo: Mr Galpin with Bright Hong Kong (Credit: Bright Hong Kong)


As word of Simon Galpin’s imminent departure spread, well-wishers from the business, government and NGO world had words of praise.

That included the man that brought him in. Mike Rowse is also a former Director-General and knows what it takes. In his own words,

“I hired him. He was an excellent deputy and it was no surprise the recruitment board gave him the top job after I retired even though it meant a big jump in rank from D2 to D6.

He took IHK to new heights, and again it was to be expected that other investment promotion agencies would be on the lookout for someone with his track record.”

Mr Rowse couldn’t resist a little legacy affirmation and went on to quip, “By the way, another of my former deputies, John Rutherford, has just been snapped up to head Invest Turks & Caicos.”


International Biz

International Chambers of Commerce and regional business groupings also benefited from partnership with InvestHK and Mr Galpin’s enthusiasm.

The Mexicans are a rising business community in Hong Kong. The former President of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, German Munoz-Dias said, “Simon Galpin is a muscle that worked out tirelessly for the wellbeing of this wonderful city during 15 years. His charisma and leadership were an important asset for Hong Kong.”

Mr Galpin with the Mexican Chamber of Commerce. (Credit: Mexican Chamber of Commerce)
Mr Galpin with the Mexican Chamber of Commerce. (Credit: Mexican Chamber of Commerce)

“For the Mexican business community, he is a great friend. When I was leading the Mexican Chamber of Commerce I received enormous support to make the Chamber be part of the international business community in Hong Kong. I just have great feelings of gratitude for all his gestures. His supportive presence and encouraging attitude built important bridges that today are blooming in the relationship between Hong Kong and Mexico.”

For some, like Deborah “Deb” Biber, a sense of loss rose to the fore. “I have worked with Simon at InvestHK in several capacities including being CEO of the Australian Chamber in Hong Kong and also as CEO of the Pacific Basin Economic Council.

I have found Simon to be a highly effective advocate for the benefits of starting a business in Hong Kong and for Hong Kong business internationally. He’s been a straight arrow when what was needed was a mature and steady business hand. His departure is definitely a loss.”



Canadians have a strong presence in Hong Kong and their Consulate was appreciative of Mr Galpin’s efforts. “The Canadian Consulate General would like to sincerely thank Simon Galpin for his outstanding support and strong contribution to the Canada-HK partnership,” a representative of the Canadian Consulate General said.

“Canadian companies, business people and of course, our Consulate General have benefited enormously from his leadership of Invest Hong Kong!”

It got personal.

“He remains a terrific friend!”


The clients

Of course, it was always about the business. Luigi LaTona is the founding Executive Director of the Self Storage Association of Asia. After industry founders considered their options, they decided on Hong Kong.

Mr LaTona was grateful for Mr Galpin’s help and send Harbour Times a joyful missive, “Always helpful, always energetic, always smiling. Thank you for everything Simon!”

Mr Galpin was especially keen on the startup scene blossoming in Hong Kong. Startup guru and co-founder of StartupsHK shares that passion and will be sorry to see him go. “Simon’s help in building Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem has been a tremendous benefit to the city – the Middle East is lucky to have him.”

These comments came in fast on the announcement. Have a kind word for Simon Galpin? Add your comments below and send us your photos with a caption at