Posted in: Press Releases
February 23, 2017
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) and the Hong Kong Tourism Board (Canada) (HKTB) jointly held a Lunar New Year dinner in Vancouver today (February 23, Vancouver time) to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.
In his welcoming remarks, the Acting Director of the HKETO, Mr Nick Choi, told the guests that in the past year, Hong Kong continued to prosper under the “one country, two systems” principle.
"Hong Kong has been rated as the freest economy in the world for 23 consecutive years by the United States’ Heritage Foundation. We also continued to top the Fraser Institute’s World Economic Freedom Index in 2016," Mr Choi said.
"In addition, we have been assessed as the world’s most competitive economy by the International Institute for Management Development," he added.
Turning to Hong Kong-Canada relations, Mr Choi noted that the two places continued to be important trading partners. With the coming into force of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between the two sides in September 2016, he encouraged more Canadian companies, particularly start-ups, to establish a presence in Hong Kong.
Mr Choi also noted that government exchanges between the two sides are frequent. Apart from visits by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, to Canada in February and June, the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Justin Trudeau, also made an official visit to Hong Kong in September 2016, during which he met with the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mr C Y Leung.
Mr Choi also said that Hong Kong and Canada also share strong human ties. He noted that while the two governments have agreed to increase the 2016 quota of the Working Holiday Scheme from 200 to 300 on a one-off basis, mutual-qualification recognition and student exchanges were also strengthened with the signing of agreements between universities of the two places in the past year.
Mr Choi added that the HKSARG welcomes Canadian people to go to Hong Kong to develop their career. In particular, he said that a new pilot scheme has been operating since May 2015 to attract the second generation of Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents to pursue careers in the city. As at the end of last year, 37 applications from Canada had been approved.
Air transport is another area showing close Hong Kong-Canadian relations. "We now have on average 12 direct scheduled passenger flights daily between Hong Kong and Canada operated by Cathay Pacific and Air Canada. We are happy to see that the two airlines have recently entered into a joint collaboration agreement, making it easier for travellers from both sides to reach more destinations.”
“The Hong Kong Airlines will also launch daily direct flight between Hong Kong and Vancouver this summer," Mr Choi further said.
Closing his remarks, Mr Choi noted that 2017 not only celebrates the 150th anniversary of the confederation of Canada, but also marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. He told the guests that the HKSARG would organise a wide variety of celebration events in Hong Kong, including mega cultural and sports programmes, in the year ahead. He also invited the attendees to join a series of celebration activities in Canada that is being planned by the HKETO.
About 110 guests, among them representatives from the government, the business community, academics and the media, joined the reception.
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO) and the Hong Kong Tourism Board (Canada) held a Lunar New Year dinner in Vancouver today (February 23, Vancouver time). Photo shows the Acting Director of the HKETO, Mr Nick Choi, delivering his welcoming remarks.
The Acting Director of the HKETO, Mr Nick Choi (right), and the Hong Kong Tourism Board Director for Canada, Central & South America, Mr Michael Lim (left), at the spring dinner.
The Acting Director of the HKETO, Mr Nick Choi (back row, middle), and guests at the spring dinner.
Chinese version on next page.
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