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Chief Executive concludes visit to Chile (with photos)

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, concluded his third day of visit in Chile today (April 14, Santiago time) and will head to Brazil tomorrow.

     In the last two days, the Chief Executive met with a number of senior officials in Chile, including Vice President, Mr Rodrigo Hinzpeter, Governor of the Central Bank of Chile, Mr Rodrigo Vergara, and Minister of Finance, Mr Felipe Larrain. He also called on National Congress leaders including President of the Senate, Mr Camilo Escalona and President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr Nicolas Monckeberg to discuss issues of mutual concern.

     Mr Tsang also spoke at two business events on April 13 (Santiago time) to promote Hong Kong's position as China's global financial centre and the opportunities for stronger links between Hong Kong and Chile.

     At the working breakfast co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington, DC, Invest Hong Kong and HSBC Chile, Mr Tsang said that Chilean enterprises could make use of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) to develop their China businesses.

     "The great thing about CEPA is that it is nationally-neutral. Through their Hong Kong operations or by teaming up with Hong Kong companies, Chilean enterprises can gain greater access to the China market via CEPA," he said. "We are continuously updating, expanding and fine-tuning CEPA and aim to achieve full liberalisation of trade in goods and services between Hong Kong and the Mainland by 2015."

     He also invited Chilean businesses to participate in trade fairs organised by HKTDC as they are a great way to connect with Mainland sellers and buyers.

     At a dinner co-hosted by Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce of Chile and Bank of Chile, the Chief Executive promoted Hong Kong as a platform for companies to raise capital for their Mainland operations and encouraged Chile's leading brands and resources firm to consider listing in Hong Kong.

     "We have all the financial services expertise to ensure smooth listings of all sizes," Mr Tsang said.

     He also said the wine trade between Hong Kong and Chile had seen encouraging growth since Hong Kong abolished its wine duties in 2008.

     "In 2010, Hong Kong and Chile signed a Memorandum of Understanding on wine related business. While we want to learn from Chile's expertise in establishing our city as a wine trading hub in Asia, Chile can take advantage of Hong Kong's zero wine duties, excellent logistics and prime location to tap the China market," he said.

     Last year, Hong Kong imported over US$17 million worth of wine from Chile, more than double the amount of wine imported in 2007, making Chile the city's seventh largest source of wine imports.

     To learn more about the Chilean market, the Chief Executive on April 14 (Santiago time) visited a pork meat packaging facility that exports products to countries including China, Japan and Vietnam.

     He will depart Chile for Brazil, the final leg of his visit, on April 15 morning (Santiago time). During his visit to Brasilia and São Paulo, he will meet Brazil's top government officials as well as business leaders, and speak at various occasions to promote Hong Kong.

Ends/Sunday, April 15, 2012
Issued at HKT 10:00


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