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Symposium in Fukuoka promotes Hong Kong as global business partner (with photos)

     The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Tokyo (Tokyo ETO) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) held the "Think Global, Think Hong Kong" Symposium in Fukuoka today (October 2), aiming at promoting Hong Kong as an ideal partner for Japanese companies looking to develop their business in the global market.

     With the Kyushu Economic Federation and the Kyushu Chapter of the Japan Hong Kong Society co-organising the event, the symposium attracted some 500 representatives from companies in the Kyushu region of Japan, keen to tap the vast opportunities in Hong Kong, the Mainland of China, the rest of Asia and beyond.

     Delivering closing remarks at the symposium, the Principal Hong Kong Economic and Trade Representative (Tokyo), Ms Sally Wong, noted that Hong Kong and Japan have enjoyed a close relationship for many years.

     "Japan is our third largest trading partner in the world, and Hong Kong has been the top destination for Japan's food and agricultural exports, taking up more than 21 per cent of such exports in 2012," Ms Wong said. She also noted that Hong Kong tourists, who regard Japan as a favourite destination, form the fifth largest tourism source for Japan.

     Ms Wong went on to say that, as a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy under the "One Country, Two Systems" arrangement laid down in the Basic Law. She pointed out that Hong Kong maintains a separate system in areas such as its economy, government administration, laws, the judiciary, currency, customs territory and immigration controls.

     She mentioned a range of unique advantages offered by Hong Kong, including a low and simple tax system, a business-friendly environment with free flow of capital and free flow of information, a liberal investment regime without any nationality restrictions on corporate ownership, and a common law-based legal system underpinned by an independent judiciary.

     She noted that more than 1,200 Japanese companies have already set up their regional headquarters or offices in Hong Kong, forming the second largest group of overseas companies next to those from the United States.

     On Kyushu companies expanding into Hong Kong, she remarked that the famous Ichiran ramen noodle shop, which started its business in Hong Kong recently, is so popular that customers have reportedly queued up for as long as five hours to have a taste of the wonderful ramen from Fukuoka.

     Ms Wong noted that today's symposium, along with last month's Focus on Asia International Film Festival Fukuoka, which featured six Hong Kong films including the festival's opening movie "The Way We Dance", and the Hong Kong tourism promotion to be held at the Asian Pacific Festival Fukuoka later this month, is part of the largest ever promotion of Hong Kong in Fukuoka and Kyushu. Ms Wong said she looks forward to even closer co-operation and friendship between the two places in the future.

     Other speakers at the symposium included the Executive Director of the HKTDC, Mr Fred Lam; the Chairman of the Kyushu Economic Federation, Mr Yutaka Aso; the Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture, Mr Hiroshi Ogawa; the Chairman of the Kyushu Association of Corporate Executives, Mr Susumu Ishihara; and the Chairman of the Hong Kong-Japan Business Co-operation Committee, Dr Jonathan Choi.

     After the symposium, Ms Wong met with the Mayor of Kitakyushu City, Mr Kenji Kitahashi, and exchanged views on ways to further deepen bilateral ties.

     The symposium and other promotional activities in Fukuoka are among the events marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Tokyo ETO in 1988.

Ends/Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:50


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