Hong Kong trade of­fice cel­e­brates, re­freshes ties in Toronto

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI NA in Toronto re­nali@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The Hong Kong Eco­nomic and Trade Of­fice in Toronto (Toronto ETO) held an evening gala called Hong Kong Re­cep­tion on Jan 20 in Toronto to cel­e­brate the ar­rival of 2015 and to re­fresh ties with friends and col­leagues.

In her wel­com­ing re­marks, Glo­ria Lo, the di­rec­tor of the Toronto ETO, re­viewed the achieve­ments that Hong Kong had gained over the past year.

While as­sur­ing that Hong Kong will con­tinue to en­joy its unique ad­van­tages un­der the One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems prin­ci­ple, Lo also told guests that Hong Kong has all along played the role of a re­li­able part­ner in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

“The re­cent es­tab­lish­ment of a frame­work to fa­cil­i­tate the con­duct of dis­pute set­tle­ment pro­ceed­ings ad­min­is­tered by the Per­ma­nent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in Hong Kong, for ex­am­ple, is cer­tainly a vote of in­ter­na­tional con­fi­dence in the city and its sound le­gal sys­tem,” Lo said.

The Host Coun­try Agree­ment and the re­lated Mem­o­ran­dum of Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ar­range­ments on the Con­duct of Dis­pute Set­tle­ment Pro­ceed­ings by the Per­ma­nent Court of Arbitration in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China were signed in Beijing ear­lier this month, mak­ing Hong Kong a new base for the PCA to en­hance ac­cess to its ser­vices in Asia.

In the past 120 years or so, the PCA has been fa­cil­i­tat­ing arbitration and other forms of dis­pute res­o­lu­tion amongst states.

Lo also briefed guests on re­cent de­vel­op­ments in build­ing up even closer eco­nomic ties be­tween Hong Kong and the Chi­nese main­land, in­clud­ing the launch of the Shang­haiHong Kong Stock Con­nect and the sign­ing of an agree­ment on lib­er­al­iza­tion of trade in ser­vices in Guang­dong.

“All th­ese de­vel­op­ments are en­cour­ag­ing and the mes­sage that Hong Kong has con­tin­ued to re­ceive the full support of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment is clear,” she added.

Lo also gave a con­cise brief on the ini­tia­tives an­nounced in the newly-re­leased 2015 Pol­icy Ad­dress, with an em­pha­sis on those con­cern­ing land sup­ply for com­mer­cial and eco­nomic pur­poses, support for tech­nol­ogy start-ups, in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment, the pro­mo­tion of the cre­ative and film in­dus­tries and the de­vel­op­ment of high value-added mar­itime ser­vices.

Guests were also told about a more proac­tive ap­proach to re­cruit­ing tal­ent and pro­fes­sion­als from out­side Hong Kong to at­tract sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Chi­nese Hong Kong em­i­grants over­seas to re­turn and stay.

“We are con­fi­dent that all th­ese mea­sures will cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties and fur­ther boost our econ­omy,” Lo con­cluded.

She also gave a brief in­tro­duc­tion of part of the Toronto ETO’s work plan in the com­ing months which in­cludes the or­ga­ni­za­tion of a Hong KongCanada Chi­nese Theme Song Com­pe­ti­tion with the Hong Kong-Canada Business As­so­ci­a­tion with the aim of un­der­lin­ing the close re­la­tions be­tween Hong Kong and Canada.

The guests were also told that joint Lu­nar New Year re­cep­tions with the Hong Kong Tourism Board would be held in Toronto and Van­cou­ver as well to pro­mote Hong Kong’s tourism in­dus­try.

Glo­ria Lo,

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