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CE starts visit to Toronto (with photos/video)

     The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, began his official visit to Toronto, Canada, today (June 8, Toronto time).

     Mr Leung started the day by meeting with the Minister of International Trade of Canada, Mr Ed Fast. During the meeting, Mr Leung pointed out that Hong Kong and Canada have well-established connections, spanning from business and commerce to social, cultural and human ties, and Hong Kong is home to the largest Canadian community in Asia. Hong Kong would continue to work with Canada to strengthen trade, economic and cultural relations.

     Mr Leung then attended the annual "Think Asia, Think Hong Kong" symposium organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The event highlights Hong Kong's business services advantages to Canadian companies seeking opportunities in Asia, particularly in the Mainland of China, and attracted 1 500 participants from the business sector.

     Speaking at the symposium, Mr Leung said, "I'm here to invite you to take advantage of Hong Kong's 'super-connector' role between Mainland China and the world - between the Mainland and Canada. Hong Kong can connect you into the vast markets of the Chinese Mainland, thanks to our 'One Country, Two Systems' arrangement.

     "It gives us and our business partners advantages no other economy in the world can offer. Hong Kong is part of China - when you do business with Hong Kong, you do business with China. But Hong Kong is distinct from other Chinese cities."

     He added, "CEPA (the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement), our free-trade agreement with the Mainland, gives Hong Kong companies tariff-free access to the Mainland for goods produced in Hong Kong. It also gives our services suppliers preferential access to the Mainland. And, since CEPA is nationality neutral, Canadian companies need only partner with Hong Kong companies to take advantage of its singular benefits."

     The Chief Executive also called on the Premier of Ontario, Ms Kathleen Wynne. At the meeting, Mr Leung encouraged Ontario businesses to come to Hong Kong to capitalise on the vast potential in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Asia.

     In the afternoon, Mr Leung attended a tea gathering with Hong Kong people living in Toronto to learn about their everyday lives. He also addressed a gala dinner hosted by the HKTDC in the evening. Mr Leung appealed to Canadian companies to set up their operations in Hong Kong. He said, "What sells well in Hong Kong will sell well in the rest of China."

     In the morning of June 9 (Toronto time), Mr Leung will address a breakfast seminar co-hosted by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association and the Toronto Region Board of Trade where he will update the participants on the key infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, including the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the third runway of Hong Kong International Airport, which will greatly expand Hong Kong's connectivity with Mainland China and the world.

     Mr Leung will then depart for Chicago, the United States, and attend a tea reception with the Hong Kong community and members of the National US Hong Kong Business Association in the afternoon.

Ends/Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:37


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