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Speech by SFST at opening of China Sourcing Fair: Gifts & Home Products (English only)

    Following is a speech by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Frederick Ma, at the Opening Ceremony of the China Sourcing Fair: Gifts & Home Products today (April 22):

Mr Hinrichs, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning. It's a pleasure to join you today for the opening of the China Sourcing Fair: Gifts and Home Products. Let me begin by congratulating Global Sources for successfully organising this fair for the first time in Hong Kong. And to those participants who are with us from out of town, may I extend a warm welcome to all of you on behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

     I understand this is the first full-house event at AsiaWorld-Expo, the latest addition to Hong Kong's world-class convention and exhibition facilities. There will be quite a bit of activity here, with tens of thousands of buyers converging on over 3,700 booths in 10 exhibition halls.

     This is the second time in a month that I have come to AsiaWorld-Expo. A few weeks ago, my bureau staged a forum here to promote regional co-operation in financial services in the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region, and to highlight the top-notch financial services that Hong Kong offers. That forum and this China Sourcing Fair serve to highlight an important fact. With the Mainland China undergoing rapid economic development, Hong Kong has become the ideal gateway for access to the Mainland market, as well as a springboard for Mainland enterprises to venture into the global marketplace.

     Hong Kong is not only an international financial centre, but also the premier capital formation and asset management centre for Mainland enterprises. We enjoy a number of advantages, including the rule of law, a fully convertible currency, the free flow of information, a solid financial infrastructure, a sound regulatory regime of international standard, a rich pool of financial professionals, and a good mix of reputable financial institutions from around the world. Over the years, Hong Kong has successfully positioned itself as a match-maker for Mainland enterprises and international investors. As our country's economy continues to grow, there is a bright future for Hong Kong in serving the Mainland's fund-raising and investment needs.

     And, as we can see today, the trading sector also benefits from the great opportunities arising from the Mainland's rapid development, and the closer business links between China and other economies around the world.

     Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased that Global Sources has chosen Hong Kong to host this big event, a decision that confirms this city as the best platform for trading with the Mainland. I wish the China Sourcing Fair every success, and I wish all of you an enjoyable stay in Hong Kong, Asia's world city. Thank you.

Ends/Saturday, April 22, 2006
Issued at HKT 11:22