Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Miss Kathy Chan, visited Ottawa on March 22 to promote Hong Kong as an ideal partner for Canadian enterprises to jointly tap business opportunities in China and the wider Belt and Road region.
Miss Chan spoke at the seminar entitled “Outlook for China and Hong Kong and Implications for Canadian Companies" organised by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) Ottawa Section. She updated participants about Hong Kong's economic performance in 2017, and talked about the unparalleled advantages of Hong Kong as an ideal gateway to China including the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with Mainland China (CEPA) that came into force in 2003.
She also introduced to participants the two significant national initiatives promulgated by the Chinese government, namely the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area (the Bay Area) and the Belt and Road initiative, the business opportunities presented by these two initiatives, and how Hong Kong can partner with Canadian businesses to capture these opportunities. For the Belt and Road Initiative, she said that Canada is getting more involved in the developments in Asia as it has been accepted as a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in March 2017, making it the AIIB's first North American member. "The Parliament has also authorised the Government of Canada to contribute up to CAD480 million to the bank over five years," Miss Chan said. Canadian businesses can now leverage on Canada's membership in the AIIB to tap the Belt and Road market. In fact, there are some pioneer Canadian companies which have already decided to take steps in invest in countries along the Belt and Road routes, and a Calgary-based logistics service company has set up a Hong Kong-based subsidiary to operate a cross continental rail service from China to Germany.
Earlier this month, Deputy Director of HKETO, Miss Florence Tsang, spoke at the “Touch of Hong Kong” Gala Dinner organised by HKCBA Edmonton Section to encourage Canadian enterprises to explore the market of Asia by making use of Hong Kong as a platform. During her stay in Edmonton, Miss Tsang also met with Strategic Adviser to Edmonton Mayor, as well as representatives of the University of Alberta to update them on the latest developments of Hong Kong and to explore collaboration opportunities.