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Hong Kong-Canada trade ties continue to strengthen (with photo)

     Hong Kong's economic freedom enjoyed today owes much to its good systems, especially those protected by the Basic Law under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, as well as the core values shared by all Hong Kong people, according to the Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Toronto (HKETO), Miss Gloria Lo.

     Speaking yesterday (February 27, Vancouver time) at a networking dinner with the media in Vancouver, Miss Lo gave a brief review of the HKETO's work last year and emphasised that Hong Kong has many areas with strong business potential.

     "Last year was a rewarding year for Hong Kong-Canada relations," Miss Lo said. "With the visit of the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr Stephen Harper, to Hong Kong and the signing of the comprehensive avoidance of double taxation agreement between the governments of Canada and Hong Kong, we see more Canadian corporations from various sectors expanding their business or starting their operation in Hong Kong."

     For almost two decades, Hong Kong has retained its position as the world's freest economy according to the rankings by the Fraser Institute in Canada and the US-based Heritage Foundation. "The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is upholding the core values of Hong Kong, including protecting human rights, rule of law, clean government, freedom and democracy, respect for different stances and views, and press freedom," she said.

     Miss Lo said that Hong Kong, as an externally oriented economy, will continue to deepen its trade relations with various trading partners. "At the beginning of 2013, my office has started conducting business seminars, briefing sessions and talks for the business community in different cities including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal," she said. "These events provide important information on the business opportunities in Hong Kong or through Hong Kong."

     Miss Lo pointed out that Hong Kong's Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, said in his most recent annual Budget speech that Hong Kong expects economic growth to come in between 1.5 and 3.5 per cent in 2013. With the good economic climate in Asia, the stable labour market in Hong Kong, more infrastructure projects in the pipeline, and the booming tourist market, Hong Kong is well poised to gain economically.

     She added that Canada's Foreign Minister, Mr John Baird, and Minister of International Trade, Mr Ed Fast, will be paying official visits to Hong Kong this March and April. Mr Fast will also attend the International ICT Expo organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council from April 13 to 16. "These high-level visits will bring closer the relationship between Hong Kong and Canada," she said. "My office will continue our efforts to advance the business interests and friendship between the two places for our mutual benefit."

Ends/Thursday, February 28, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:53


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