Posted in: Press Releases
September 28, 2017
The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Miss Kathy Chan, visited Edmonton and Calgary on September 27 and 28 to promote Hong Kong’s unique role as the gateway to Asia to the business sectors of the two cities.
On September 27, Miss Chan spoke at “Connect To HK and Beyond” networking reception organised by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (Edmonton) and on September 28, she addressed participants of “Hong Kong Update and Networking Lunch” hosted by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (Calgary). She first updated the participants on the latest economic situation of Hong Kong. She said Hong Kong’s economy expanded by 3.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, after a notable 4.3 per cent growth in the first quarter. At the same time, Hong Kong continues to be an ideal place for business and was ranked for the 23rd consecutive year as the freest economy in the world by the US Heritage Foundation in 2017.
In terms of Hong Kong-Canada trade relations, Hong Kong was Canada’s 8th largest export market in 2016 with total exports amounting to C$2.3 billion. “In particular, Hong Kong was Canada’s largest export market in the world for frozen beef, and 4th largest market for fish and seafood,” Miss Chan said. On the investment front, the two places continued to be an important investment source of each other – Hong Kong’s investment into Canada and Canada’s investment into Hong Kong amounted to C$12 billion and C$7.3 billion respectively last year. In addition, the Hong Kong-Canada Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement entered into force in September in 2016. “The Agreement would bolster confidence of investors of Hong Kong and Canada and enhance investment flows between the two places,” Miss Chan added.
Hong Kong’s position as a gateway for businesses to tap into the Mainland China market has been supported by facilitating policies adopted by the Mainland Chinese Government. A prominent example is the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), which was signed by Hong Kong and Mainland China in 2003 and has been enriched periodically thereafter. The latest development is that both sides signed a new Investment Agreement under CEPA in June. Under the Agreement, Mainland China commits to providing national treatment to Hong Kong investments and investors on par with Mainland investments and investors, except for the 26 measures listed in the Agreement. “All-in-all, under CEPA, Hong Kong can now enjoy more preferential investment access than other external investors in a wide range of services and non-services sectors. The Most-Favoured Treatment provision also specifies that any preferential treatment Mainland China accords to investments and investors from other countries or regions will be extended to Hong Kong investments and investors,” Miss Chan said.
Miss Chan further elaborated that CEPA is a nationality-neutral arrangement so that foreign businesses, including Canadian businesses, can take advantage of all the benefits provided under CEPA by establishing a presence in Hong Kong or working with a Hong Kong partner.
Apart from Mainland China, Hong Kong has also strengthened trade relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Hong Kong has concluded negotiations with ASEAN on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related Investment Agreement earlier this month, which would bring more and better access to the ASEAN markets, create new business opportunities and further enhance trade and investment flows. “We hope to sign the FTA and the Investment Agreement in November this year. By that time, Canadian companies can enjoy the facilitation measures if they use Hong Kong as a base in Asia or partner with Hong Kong service providers,” Miss Chan said.
Before closing, Miss Chan updated the audience on Hong Kong’s active participation in two national initiatives: the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development. “Hong Kong’s strategic location at the centre of Asia, our status as an international financial centre, our deep pool of professional talents, and our extensive international trade networks underpin our unique advantages to partner with Canadian businesses to tap into the vast market of the Belt and Road Region”, Miss Chan said. She further noted that more than 3 000 government and business leaders from some 50 countries and regions attended the second annual Belt and Road Summit held in Hong Kong earlier this month, which included a 100-member Canadian delegation who are interested in knowing more about the opportunities out there. At the same time, Miss Chan said that riding on the imminent completion of major transport infrastructure projects such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Guangdong-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail link, the Chinese government’s plan to establish the Bay Area, which covers Hong Kong, Macao, and nine cities in Guangdong Province with a total population of over 66 million and a GDP comparable to that of Australia or the Republic of Korea, would further facilitate the flow of people, goods and capital in the region and present enormous business opportunities for HK and overseas businesses.
Lastly, Miss Chan invited business elites in Edmonton and Calgary to join the “Succeeding in Asia and beyond through Hong Kong” Business Seminar to be organised by HKETO in Toronto on October 19 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in order to learn more about how Canadian companies can tap the vast opportunities presented by the rapid-growing Asia market through Hong Kong.
The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto), Miss Kathy Chan, speaks at “Connect To HK and Beyond” networking reception organised by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (Edmonton) on September 27.
Miss Kathy Chan (second right), photos with (from left) the Director (Canada) of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Mr Andrew Yui; the Immediate Past President of Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) (Edmonton), Ms Monica Barclay; President of HKCBA (Edmonton ), Mr Bruce Kirkland; and Director of HKCBA (Edmonton), Mr Frankie Lee, at the networking reception in Edmonton.
Miss Kathy Chan, speaks at “Hong Kong Update and Networking Lunch” hosted by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (Calgary) on September 28.
Miss Kathy Chan (middle) photos with Mr Andrew Yui (left) and President of HKCBA (Calgary) Mr Manford Kwan at the networking lunch in Calgary.
Chinese version on next page.
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