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Chief Executive visits London (with photos/videos)

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, continued the second leg of his visit to Europe in London today (September 13, London time).

     Addressing the "Think Asia, Think Hong Kong" Symposium organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in the morning, he highlighted Hong Kong's position as the perfect entry point to the huge Asian market and its indispensable role as China's global financial centre.

     He said that Hong Kong is a testing ground for new products and ideas as the Mainland continues to open up, reform, and liberalise its markets, adding that it is particularly the case for the internationalisation of Renminbi.

     "Renminbi banking was launched in Hong Kong in 2004. Today, almost 130 authorised institutions are engaged in Renminbi business.

     "This includes deposits, remittances, credit cards and chequing accounts. Total deposits in Hong Kong at end-July topped 570 billion Renminbi," Mr Tsang said.

     "Our deeper financial integration with Mainland China is just one reason for foreign companies to "Think Asia, Think Hong Kong."

     "Our city has long been the premier international gateway for trade with the Mainland.  Think of Hong Kong as a corridor of opportunity for goods and services as well as ideas and new innovations to reach Mainland markets," the Chief Executive said.

     In the afternoon, Mr Tsang addressed the Hong Kong Association Membership Lunch.  He emphasised the profound impact that "One Country, Two Systems" has had and will have for Hong Kong moving forward.

     "We must ensure that we bring into full play all of the advantages we have as a Special Administrative Region of China.

     "My job as Chief Executive is not only to ensure the prosperity and stability of our society íV it is also to ensure that Hong Kong can play the fullest and most appropriate role possible in our nation's development," the Chief Executive said.

     The Chief Executive will meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr George Osborne, in the afternoon and address the Hong Kong Trade Development Council Annual Dinner in the evening.

     Mr Tsang will meet the Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr William Hague, tomorrow. He will also have a working breakfast with the All Party Parliamentary China Group. He will then depart for Edinburgh.

     UK is Hong Kong's second largest trading partner among the 27 European Union Member States. Bilateral trade amounted to US$13 billion last year. It grew by nearly eight percent year-on-year in the first five months this year. UK is also Hong Kong's largest source of visitors from Europe. Some 516 000 arrivals were recorded last year.

Ends/Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Issued at HKT 20:31


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