Hong Kong welcomes Year of the Rooster in London (with photos)
The Director-General of the London ETO, Ms Priscilla To, welcomed more than 500 guests at the Chinese New Year reception on February 8 at the Banqueting House, Whitehall in London. Amongst the guests were United Kingdom (UK) government officials, parliamentarians, mayors from various London Boroughs, senior diplomats, leading figures in the business world, media representatives and members of the Hong Kong community.
Speaking at the reception, Ms To reaffirmed Hong Kong's strong support for free trade and said Hong Kong looks forward to strengthening the bilateral trade ties with the UK. She said, "When UK companies are renewing their business strategy after Brexit, the markets in Asia are a natural choice to diversify business risks. They would find Hong Kong a trustworthy partner with familiar business practices and culture as they set off their journey in Asia."
Highlighting Hong Kong's unique strengths under the "one country, two systems" arrangement, she encouraged UK companies to make use of Hong Kong's business network and platform to capitalise on the opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative.
In her speech, Ms To also said that 2017 was a special year as it marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and announced that London ETO would celebrate the occasion with a variety of activities with all Hong Kong friends in the UK as well as other countries under its purview.
Guest of Honour at the reception was Commercial Secretary to HM Treasury, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, who also spoke. She said, "The UK has deep ties with Hong Kong based on our cultural links and shared history, and our partnership has gone from strength to strength over the last twenty years. As we prepare to leave the EU, Hong Kong will remain a key partner.
"Hong Kong is an economic and financial centre in its own right, and its gateway to Mainland China also offers enormous opportunities."
The reception featured a lion dance as well as a performance by four Hong Kong musicians who played a variety of classical pieces as well as traditional Hong Kong tunes.
On January 29, the London ETO took part in the large-scale annual London Chinatown Chinese New Year celebration, which was attended by hundreds of thousands of people. The London ETO ran its own marquee in Trafalgar Square to promote Hong Kong, with thousands of visitors coming by to learn about Hong Kong's culture and to enjoy traditional Hong Kong games. The London ETO also sponsored a special "Hong Kong Stage" in Charing Cross Road which featured performers with a connection to Hong Kong, and where Ms To greeted the audience and conveyed Chinese New Year wishes to them. With the support of the London ETO, the Hong Kong Drum Ensemble performed both on the main stage in Trafalgar Square and on the "Hong Kong Stage" in Charing Cross Road.
The London ETO also co-hosted Chinese New Year events in the other countries under its purview, in Copenhagen (January 11), Helsinki (January 17), Gothenburg (January 19), Oslo (January 24), and Bergen (January 26). It will co-host further events in Stockholm (February 14), St Petersburg (February 16), Moscow (February 20) and Liverpool (March 9).
Ends/Friday, February 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 6:15
Issued at HKT 6:15