HKETO Newsroom

February 22, 2018

HKETO and HKTB host Joint Lunar New Year reception in Toronto

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (Toronto ETO) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) and the Hong Kong Tourism Board (Canada) (HKTB) jointly held a Lunar New Year reception in Toronto today (February 22, Toronto time) to celebrate the Year of the Dog.

In her welcoming remarks at the reception, Director of Toronto ETO, Miss Kathy Chan, updated guests on the economic performance of Hong Kong in 2017 and said the city continued to prosper under the “one country, two systems” principle.

"Hong Kong has been crowned as the world’s freest economy for 24 consecutive years by the United States' Heritage Foundation. We also continued to top the Fraser Institute’s World Economic Freedom Index every year since its first report in 1995," Miss Chan said.

"In addition, we have been assessed as the world’s most competitive economy for the second consecutive year by the International Institute for Management Development," she added.

Miss Chan highlighted that Hong Kong is working to introduce a two-tier profits tax system, which will enhance Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a premier place to do business. Specifically, the corporate profits tax rate for the first HK$2 million profits (around CAD300,000) will be halved from 16.5% to 8.25% and we aim to implement this new tax rate within 2018.

Another measure will be the additional tax reduction to encourage research and development (R&D) investment such that the first HK$2 million (around CAD300,000) eligible R&D expenditure will enjoy as much as a 300% tax deduction with the remainder at 200%.

Miss Chan said Hong Kong’s economy has benefitted from closer economic co-operation with Mainland China over the years. The new national strategy of developing the Hong Kong-Guangdong-Macao Bay Area (the Bay Area), which linked Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in Guangdong Province, would bring enormous opportunities to businesses operating in Hong Kong.

Turning to Hong Kong-Canada relations, Miss Chan noted that the two places continued to be important trading partners. Hong Kong was Canada’s eighth-largest merchandise export market and the largest export market for frozen beef as well as fourth-largest for fish and seafood in 2016.

Miss Chan also remarked that bilateral trade ties between the two sides continue to strengthen. In late November to early December last year, Premier of Ontario of Canada, Ms Kathleen Wynne, led a trade mission to China including Hong Kong. During her stay in Hong Kong, she met with the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, and they discussed opportunities to work as partners in areas of interest for both parties, including technology and R&D.

Other than trade relations, Miss Chan said that Hong Kong and Canada also share close human ties. The Canadian community is among the largest foreign communities in Hong Kong and around 400 000 Canadian nationals visited or resided in Hong Kong in 2016. In order to encourage youths of the two places to experience the life of each other, the two governments had increased the 2017 quota of the Working Holiday Scheme from 200 to 240 on a one-off basis. Air transport link between Hong Kong and Canada has become more frequent during the past year. Last June, Hong Kong Airlines started a new non-stop daily service between Hong Kong and Vancouver. Cathay Pacific has also increased the frequency of its flights connecting Hong Kong and Canada in the past year.

Miss Chan added that the HKSARG welcomes Canadian people to go to Hong Kong to develop their career. Last March, a delegation from the Hong Kong Immigration Department visited Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver to promote various admission schemes in order to attract talent, professionals and entrepreneurs from Canada to Hong Kong. In particular, she said that a pilot scheme was introduced in 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, 58 applications from Canada had been approved under the pilot scheme.

Miss Chan concluded by reviewing the multifarious events organised or supported by HKETO last year across Canada to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR in 2017, including gala dinners, film festivals, cultural performances by Hong Kong performing arts groups, photo and painting exhibitions, as well as business and academic seminars. She said that Toronto ETO would continue to organise or support various business and cultural activities across Canada in 2018 to promote bilateral relations between Hong Kong and Canada on all fronts.

During the reception, Director for Canada, Central and South America of HKTB, Mr Michael Lim, reviewed the tourism marketing plans for Canada in 2018. “In view of the positive macro environment, it will be a good opportunity for us to drive visitor arrivals with multi-channel integrated campaigns leveraging our ‘Best of All, It’s in Hong Kong’ theme, as well as to accelerate our multi destination partnerships with Asian destinations including China, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam. Overall, we want to invite visitors to ‘Discover Hong Kong like a local’,” he said.

About 120 guests, including representatives from the business sector, local communities, academia and the media, joined the reception. A similar reception would be held in Vancouver on 7 March.

February 22, 2018

香香港經貿處及香港旅發局於多倫多合辦農曆新年招待會

香港特別行政區政府 (香港特區政府) 駐多倫多經濟貿易辦事處 (香港經貿處) 與香港旅遊發展局 (加拿大)(香港旅發局)於今日(多倫多時間二月二十二日)在多倫多合辦農曆新年招待會,慶祝戊戌狗年到臨。

香港經貿處處長陳納思在招待會致歡迎辭時,向與會嘉賓簡介香港在二O一七年的經濟表現。她說,在「一國兩制」下,香港繼續保持繁榮。

陳納思說:「香港已連續二十四年獲美國傳統基金會評選為全球最自由經濟體,並自加拿大菲沙研究所於一九九五年發表首份報告以來,每年持續獲該所評為全球經濟最自由的地方。」

她續說:「瑞士洛桑國際管理發展學院亦連續兩年將香港評為全球最具競爭力的經濟體。」

陳納思表示,香港現正計劃推行公司利得稅兩級制,這將大大提升香港作為營商城市的吸引力。在新稅制下,企業首200萬港元利潤(約加幣30萬元)的利得稅率將由現時16.5%大幅減半至8.25%。新稅率計劃在二O一八年內實施。

另一項措施是透過額外扣稅鼓勵研發投資,首200萬港元(約加幣30萬元)的合資格研發開支可獲300%扣稅,餘額則獲200%扣稅。

陳納思表示,多年來香港經濟受惠於與中國內地建立更緊密經貿合作關係。發展粵港澳大灣區是國家新的重大發展策略,連接香港、澳門和廣東省九大城市,可為在香港營運的企業帶來龐大商機。

港加關係方面,陳納思指港加兩地繼續互為彼此重要貿易夥伴。在二O一六年,香港是加拿大第八大商品出口市場,亦是加拿大急凍牛肉的最大出口市場和魚類及海鮮的第四大出口市場。

陳納思指港加雙邊經貿關係持續增強。去年十一月下旬至十二月初,加拿大安大略省長韋恩率領貿易代表團訪問中國,包括香港。她訪港期間,與香港特區行政長官林鄭月娥會面,就雙方共同關心的課題包括科技及研發商討合作機會。

除了經貿外,陳納思指港加雙方有緊密的人脈聯繫。加拿大社區是香港最大的外國人社區之一,在二O一六年約有四十萬名加拿大籍人士到香港旅遊或在香港居住。為了鼓勵港加青年體驗兩地的生活,兩地政府將二O一七年的「工作假期計劃」名額由二百個增加至二百四十個。去年,港加之間的航空運輸連繫亦趨頻繁。去年六月,香港航空正式開通每日一班往來香港至溫哥華的直航服務,而國泰航空亦在去年增加了往來港加的航班。

陳納思說,香港特區政府歡迎加拿大人到香港發展事業。去年三月,香港入境事務處代表團到訪多倫多、滿地可及温哥華推廣各項入境計劃,以吸引更多加拿大優才、專業人士及企業家到香港。陳納思特別提到於二O一五年推出、目標為吸引中國籍香港永久性居民第二代到香港工作的試驗計劃。截至去年底,共有58宗來自加拿大的申請在該計劃下獲批。

陳納思總結時回顧香港經貿處於二○一七年為慶祝香港特區成立二十周年,在加拿大舉辦或支持的連串活動,包括慶祝晚宴、電影節、香港藝術團體的文化表演、圖片和書畫展覽,以及商貿和學術研討會。陳納思表示,香港經貿處今年會繼續在加拿大舉辦或支持不同的商貿及文化活動,以促進港加兩地各方面的關係。

在招待會上,香港旅發局加拿大及中、南美洲幹事林兒銘亦談及二○一八年在加拿大的市務推廣計劃。他說:「現時加國整體政治、經濟大環境向好,甚為適合推動旅客赴港觀光。配合『盡享 • 最香港』的品牌推廣,今年的活動會綜合多媒體及頻道,邀請旅客發掘香港道地特色,以及和亞洲幾個旅遊夥伴如中國、泰國,台灣和越南等合作設計多種旅遊產品進行銷售。」

約一百二十位人士包括商界、社區、學界及傳媒代表出席今次招待會。溫哥華的農曆新年招待會將於三月七日舉行。