The Acting Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Miss Florence Tsang, invited Canadian entities to collaborate with Hong Kong for expanding into the vast markets in China and the Belt and Road Region.
Speaking at a seminar entitled “Doing Business with China” jointly organised by the Mississauga Chinese Business Association and Mississauga Board of Trade on March 2, Miss Tsang first introduced Hong Kong’s unparalleled advantages to do business, including the recent rating by the US-based Heritage Foundation as the freest economy in the world for the 24th consecutive year.
Miss Tsang said that Hong Kong is an ideal gateway for Canadian entities to tap into Mainland China. In particular, Hong Kong and Mainland China signed in 2003 the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), and the content of CEPA has been enhanced continuously. Today, under CEPA, Hong Kong can enjoy preferential investment access in a wide range of services and non-services sectors in 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,” Miss Tsang added.
Apart from CEPA, the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area (Bay Area) also offers enormous opportunities to businesses in Hong Kong. The connectivity between Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong Province would be greatly enhanced when the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge are commissioned later this year. “In future, Hong Kong would be even better-positioned to be the gateway of overseas enterprises to Mainland China, especially the Bay Area,” Miss Tsang said.
As regards the Belt and Road Initiative promulgated by the Chinese Government to foster closer economic, political, cultural and social links among the relevant countries, Miss Tsang said that the Initiative is open to all and Canada can also play a part in it.
The many advantages offered by Hong Kong makes it an ideal partner for Canadian companies to venture into the Belt and Road market. They include its status as an international financial centre, its large professional services cluster with extensive global networks, its trusted common law system and an independent, as well as its status as a regional hub for legal services and dispute resolution.
Before closing, she encouraged the participants of the workshop to work with Hong Kong to take part in the Bay Area development and the Belt and Road Initiative.