Hong Kong boosted for busi­ness

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

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.

LI NA / CHINA DAILY

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.

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