Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, visited Calgary from September 7 to 10 to promote Hong Kong's core strengths and new edges for businesses and cultural developments.
Speaking at the annual National Conference of the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) on September 8, Ms Mo first highlighted Hong Kong's resilience in the face of challenging times including the pandemic and economic headwinds elsewhere. "We have witnessed remarkable achievements, with a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth exceeding 3% in the first quarter, a 13% surge in private consumption, and an impressively low unemployment rate at just 3%," she said. "Hong Kong’s status as a leading global financial center has been further strengthened. The asset record as of June totalled 3.4 trillion US dollars, that is 9.6 times our GDP."
Ms Mo moved on to emphasize that Hong Kong stands as a world-class fundraising platform, China’s international financial hub and the world’s premier Renminbi (RMB) hub. "Through various connect schemes facilitating RMB-denominated product offerings in Hong Kong, we continue to serve as a nexus between the capital markets and investors from Mainland China and around the world," she said.
Besides traditional businesses, Hong Kong is dedicated to advancing emerging sectors such as green finance, green and health technology, and virtual assets . Ms Mo said that Hong Kong, by collaborating with sister cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the Greater Bay Area) which hold strengths in technological commercialization and manufacturing, is nurturing a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and technology.
In closing, Ms Mo stressed that the enduring principle of “one country, two systems” and the unwavering support from the nation, Hong Kong remains the prime choice for Canadian businesses to tap into the Mainland China, Asian and Indo-pacific markets. She anticipated enhanced cooperation between our two places.
The HKCBA National Conference was HKETO’s major business event in Canada for the Hong Kong Week 2023 programme. Around 200 business elites, industry leaders and government representatives from across Canada and from Hong Kong joined the Calgary conference to share insights on the latest business opportunities in Asia for Canadian companies.
This year, the HKCBA signature event focussed on areas of opportunities including Energy Transition and Environment, and success stories of Canadian companies. These developments in Asia are further broadened and deepened by China’s 14th Five Year Plan, the Greater Bay Area Development and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement.
In the evening of the same day, Ms Mo attended the cocktail reception of the HKCBA National Conference and delivered a speech. She encouraged attendees to visit Hong Kong and experience the vibrancy of the city post-pandemic, especially its emerging role as a prominent East-meets-West center for international cultural exchange.
Turning to Hong Kong's cultural faces, Ms Mo visited the Kelvin Yuen Photograph Exhibition held at cSPACE Hallway Galleries, Calgary on September 9. The exhibition, featuring Hong Kong young award-winning photographer Kelvin Yuen, showcased the beautiful landscapes of Canada and enhanced the cultural exchanges between Canada and Hong Kong. The event is another highlight of the Hong Kong Week 2023 programme.
In the evening, Ms Mo attended the original Cantonese musical performance of “Button of Love” co-presented by the HKETO and DramaOne Canada. Penned by noted Hong Kong Canadian director Peter Poon and brought to life by a remarkable ensemble of performers and crew members with Hong Kong-Canada ties, the musical drama exemplified the strong connection between Hong Kong and Canada.
Addressing the drama audience, Ms Mo said that Hong Kong has gracefully evolved into a global hub for cultural exchanges. One of the must-see spot is the West Kowloon Cultural District, which offers a world-class array of cultural performances, exhibitions, and immersive experiences throughout the year.
The HKETO is currently hosting the 2023 Hong Kong Week themed “Hello Hong Kong” until the end of September to feature Hong Kong’s new strengths, promising economic prospects and fresh cultural vision. Activities include art and photo exhibitions, film festivals, musical drama performances and a national business conference to be held in different Canadian cities. Details of the 2023 Hong Kong Week can be found on the dedicated webpage at https://hongkongweek2023.hketo.ca/.
Ms Mo returned to Toronto in the afternoon of September 10.
至於推廣香港文化方面，巫菀菁九月九日出席在卡加里cSPACE Hallway Galleries舉行的袁斯樂相片展。該展覽展出香港年輕攝影師袁斯樂的作品，該些作品展示加拿大的明媚風光。展覽加強加港兩地的文化交流，今次活動亦是「2023香港周」的焦點項目。