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Speech by Acting FS at reception of National Day of Republic of Korea


Following is the speech by the Acting Financial Secretary, Mr Stephen Ip, at the reception of the National Day of the Republic of Korea today (September 27) (English only):

Consul General, ladies and gentlemen,

I have great pleasure to attend this reception today, and I would like to extend my warmest congratulations on the National Day of the Republic of Korea.

I am sure that this year's national day must be a good occasion for celebrating the various successes of your nation. The World Cup Finals held in June had shown to the world the strengths of Korea in managing large-scale international sporting events of the highest standards. I am sure your country will make the 14th Asian Games to be opened in Busan an equally spectacular event.

Korea and Hong Kong have a long history of economic and cultural linkage, which is strengthening with time. We are your fourth largest trading partner, while you are our sixth largest. Korean cars and electronic products are everywhere in Hong Kong, and thousands of visitors from Hong Kong made vacation trips to Seoul and Jeju during weekends and holidays. Our public, especially the younger generation, are particularly keen in Korean pop culture. Movies like "My Sassy Girl" and "Endless Love" are very popular in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, with our strategic geographical location, favourable business environment, and high quality infrastructure and manpower, is well positioned as gateway and partner for Korean businesses exploring the China and South East Asian markets. Particularly, we are at the centre of the Pearl River Delta, a manufacturing powerhouse providing cheap land and labour for foreign businesses, including those from Korea. I hope that Hong Kong and Korea will continue to strengthen our long-established trading and commercial relationships to our mutual benefit.

Before I finish, let me express my best wishes to our Korean friends, Good Health and Good Wealth.

On behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, may I propose a toast "To the People of the Republic of Korea". Cheers.

End/ Friday, September 27, 2002


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