Hong Kong boosted for business
The largest-ever Hong Kong promotion in Canada wrapped up on Tuesday in Toronto. More than 1,500 business people from across Canada took part in the event known as “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong”, which was organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in Toronto.
“We’re here because we believe that our strong and longstanding connections in business and culture offer the promise of a far more rewarding future for our two economies and the companies that drive them,” said C.Y. Leung, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, at the opening symposium.
Leung was leading a delegation of more than 100 high-profile business leaders and government officials, including 27 from the Chinese mainland.
According to Leung, about 300,000 Canadian passport holders live and work in Hong Kong. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is the largest Canadian business organization outside of Canada, and among the largest and most active international chambers in Hong Kong and the entire AsiaPacific region.
“I’m also pleased to note that Canada’s investment in Hong Kong is substantial, totaling CAD $5.1 billion at the end of 2013,” Leung added.
“We are working diligently to help companies from Canada, Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland to explore business opportunities using the Hong Kong platform,” said Vincent Lo, chairman-designate of the HKTDC. “Hong Kong has a long tradition of international trade, combined with the understanding of different cultures and business practices from East and West.”
Lo highlighted the developments in Asia, namely the “One Belt, One Road” initiative in China and the huge population of consumers in the 10 ASEAN nations.
“The Chinese mainland is committed to market-driven growth, and no-one knows the mainland markets better than we do in Hong Kong,” Lo said.
During the gathering, Ed Fast, Canada’s minister of international trade, and Margaret Fong, executive director of the HKTDC, signed an arrangement on mutual cooperation to facilitate collaboration in promotion of commercial activities in areas of mutual interest.
“Canada and Hong Kong have a long-standing partnership, strengthened by our people-to-people ties,” said Fast. “Hong Kong is an important hub for Canadian exports of goods and services to Asia, and this trade promotion arrangement will help our companies work together to take advantage of the rapid growth in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“Think Asia, think Hong Kong,” Fast added. “When you think North America, think Canada.”
“We are pleased to conclude this arrangement with Canada,” said Fong. “Based on an already robust trade relationship between Canada and Hong Kong, this arrangement further promotes business opportunities in financial services, logistics, food, technology and intellectual property.”
Fong also encouraged Canadian companies from all sectors to take full advantage of the business-matching activities and major international trade fairs and exhibitions organized by the HKTDC to connect with new partners in Hong Kong and to access the fast-growing markets on the Chinese mainland and across Asia.
Sector-specific sessions at the event featured almost 30 expert speakers sharing their insights on such topics as selling to China and throughout Asia, Chinese outward investment, Hong Kong as a gateway and RMB internationalization.
C.Y. Leung, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, delivers the keynote speech at the opening of the “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong” symposium held on Monday in Toronto.