Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Miss Kathy Chan, visited Montreal and Ottawa from February 6 to 9 to promote Hong Kong’s unique role as the gateway to Mainland China and the rest of Asia.
Miss Chan spoke at the Chinese New Year Galas organised by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) Montreal Section on February 6 and the HKCBA Ottawa Section on February 8.
When addressing the galas, Miss Chan highlighted the advantages of doing business in Hong Kong, including the rule of law, an independent judiciary, a clean and efficient government, a simple tax regime with low tax rates, the city’s bilingual proficiency in English and Chinese, as well as a rich pool of professional talents. She added that Hong Kong is once again rated by the US-based Heritage Foundation this year as the freest economy in the world for the 24th consecutive year. In addition, Hong Kong SAR Government is working to introduce a two-tier corporate profits tax system later this year, under which the tax rate of the first HKD2 million profits earned by enterprises (about CAD300,000) would be reduced by half from 16.5% to 8.25%.
Miss Chan went on to say that Hong Kong is an ideal gateway for Canadian enterprises to tap into Mainland China. In 2003, Hong Kong and Mainland China signed the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), and the content of CEPA has been enriched continuously. Miss Chan said, “Today, under CEPA, Hong Kong can enjoy preferential investment access in a wide range of services and non-services sectors on Mainland China. Canadian businesses can enjoy the benefits under this nationality-neutral arrangement by establishing a presence in Hong Kong or by working with a Hong Kong partner”.
Apart from Mainland China, Miss Chan pointed out that Hong Kong is also an excellent platform for Canadian enterprises to tap into Southeast Asia. Miss Chan said, “Hong Kong has successfully concluded negotiations of a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last September. When the agreement comes into force starting next year, Canadian companies can make use of the facilitation measures to tap into the ASEAN market by using Hong Kong as a base or by partnering with Hong Kong service providers”.
Before closing, Miss Chan updated the audience on Hong Kong’s active participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. She noted that more than 120 Canadian delegates attended the second Belt and Road Summit held in Hong Kong last year and the upcoming third Summit will be held on 28 June 2018. Miss Chan encouraged Canadian businesses to join the Summit and grasp the numerous opportunities, ranging from infrastructure to trade and investment, offered by the Initiative.
During the stay in Montreal, Miss Chan called on Director of Asia Pacific and Oceania Markets, Quebec Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation, Mr Dominic Cousineau, and Vice-President, Business Services of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Mr Guy Jobin, to promote the Hong Kong platform.
While in Ottawa, Miss Chan met with senior government official of Global Affairs Canada and representatives of Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and Invest Ottawa to update them on the latest economic developments of Hong Kong and to foster bilateral trade relations.
Earlier this month, Deputy Director of HKETO, Miss Florence Tsang, also attended the Chinese New Year Gala held by the HKCBA Winnipeg Section on February 3 to encourage Canadian entrepreneurs to explore the market of Asia via the Hong Kong platform.
陳納思到訪滿地可期間，亦與魁北克省經濟及創新科技廳亞太及大洋洲市場部總監Dominic Cousineau 及滿地可商會商務副總裁Guy Jobin會面，推廣香港的商貿平台。