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FS urges Slovenian companies to invest in Hong Kong (with photos)

    The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, today (May 26) encouraged Slovenian companies to make the best use of Hong Kong's expertise and contacts to establish themselves in the East Asia region.

    Speaking in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, on the first working day of his trip to the country, he said Hong Kong was second to none as a regional base.

    He told a business luncheon co-hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia: "Almost 4,000 foreign or Mainland Chinese companies have their regional offices or headquarters in our city. Why? Quite simply because if you're going to be overseeing regional operations, while connecting with your head office in New York, London or ... Ljubljana, you need the city with the best and most reliable technology, communications, transport infrastructure and, of course, people."

    The Financial Secretary said Hong Kong was an ideal location for Slovenian companies to raise capital and diversify their fund-raising activities.

    Mr Tsang noted that Slovenia's wine-growing heritage was much longer than that of its neighbours, France, Italy and Germany.

    "The popularity of wine in Asia is skyrocketing," he said. "More and more people are drinking whites in a region previously committed to heavy reds.  I suspect one of my most popular decisions as Financial Secretary so far was to remove completely the tax on importing wine.  I felt this was an important move to bolster Hong Kong's growing role as a wine distribution hub in Asia."

    In the morning, Mr Tsang met the Governor of the Bank of Slovenia, Dr Marko Kranjec, before holding talks with Slovenia's Minister of the Economy, Mr Andrej Vizjak, and the Minister of Finance, Dr Andrej Bajuk. He had a briefing session with Slovenian media in the afternoon.

    Tomorrow, Mr Tsang will travel to Vienna, where he will meet the Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Finance, Mr Wilhelm Molterer, address an Executive Business Lunch, give an interview to Austrian media and have talks with the Minister of Economics and Labour, Dr Martin Bartenstein.

Ends/Monday, May 26, 2008
Issued at HKT 21:44


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