Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Miss Kathy Chan, attended the Lunar New Year Gala Dinner of the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Section in Toronto on February 24. Miss Chan and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti were the honourary co-chairs of the event. The gala was graced by the presence of dignitaries including Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Toronto, Mr He Wei, Senator Victor Oh, Members of Parliament Shaun Chen and Jean Yip, and Ontario Minister of International Trade Michael Chan. Around 400 guests attended the dinner.
In her opening remarks at the gala, Miss Chan said that same as Canada, Hong Kong is a staunch advocate of free and open trade. “To advance free trade, we vigorously seek to enter free-trade agreements with our trading partners, to eliminate or reduce tariffs, and to remove trade and non-tariff barriers, so as to boost trade, create better jobs and increased investments, and promote economic prosperity,” she said.
In this connection, Hong Kong had launched negotiations of a free trade agreement with Australia and successfully completed negotiations of the same with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last year. When the agreement with ASEAN comes into effect next year, Canadian enterprises can make use of it to tap into the Southeast Asian market.
Miss Chan also noted that Hong Kong is a free and open economy. “Earlier this month, the US-based Heritage Foundation rated Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy for the 24th consecutive year, and Canada’s Fraser Institute has consistently put Hong Kong at the top of its Economic Freedom of the World Report since it was first published in 1995,” she added.
Lastly, Miss Chan highlighted the enormous business opportunities brought about by the Belt and Road initiative and the unparalleled advantages of using Hong Kong as a platform to jointly tap into the vast Belt and Road markets. Miss Chan also remarked that 120 delegates from all parts of Canada participated in the second Belt and Road Summit held in Hong Kong last year. She invited the guests to join the third Summit to be held in Hong Kong on June 28 this year to obtain first-hand information on the latest developments relating to this initiative.
On February 23, Miss Chan also attended the Lunar New Year Gala Dinner held by the HKCBA Calgary Section. During her stay in Calgary, Miss Chan paid a courtesy call on Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Miss Chan also met with Ms. Song Wang, Director of China Team, Asia Pacific Branch of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Government of Alberta, to brief her on the latest economic developments in Hong Kong and exchange views on strengthening bilateral trade relations.
在二月二十三日，陳納思亦出席了港加商會卡加里分會舉行的農曆新春晚宴。陳納思到訪卡加里期間，曾拜訪卡加里市長Naheed Nenshi。此外，陳納思亦與亞省經濟發展及貿易廳亞太分部中國組總監Ms. Song Wang見面，向她介紹香港最新的經濟發展情況，及就促進兩地雙邊經貿關係交換意見。