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Hong Kong - Asia's centre for research and development
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     With its own institutions, state-of-the-art information and technology environment and highly educated workforce, Hong Kong is the key for innovative German companies, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to enter the vast Chinese market, said the Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin (HKETO Berlin), Ms Betty Ho, today (September 1, Aachen time) at a China roundtable in Aachen which was honoured by the presence of the Mayor of the City of Aachen, Mr Marcel Philipp.

     Ms Ho briefed the guests, invited by the Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade and the Regional Development Agency for the Technology Region Aachen, about the benefits that Hong Kong had to offer to German companies to tap the potential of the huge markets in Asia. "Not only is Hong Kong located at the heart of Asia", she said, "but also local and foreign companies enjoy our rule of law, low and simple tax system as well as free flows of capital, information and talents."

     With regard to Hong Kong's pillar industries íV which are trading and logistics, tourism, business and professional services, and financial services íV Hong Kong would also take advantage of China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, Ms Ho emphasised. These economic co-operation corridors, spanning different regions in Asia, Europe and Africa, would promote co-development among countries and foster co-operation in the political, economic and social areas.

     The Head of Investment Promotion of HKETO Berlin, Dr Wing-hin Chung, added that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government started new initiatives to promote the city as a start-up hub in the region. The initiatives were particularly addressing SMEs in the innovation and technology sector, a field in which companies from the Aachen region have developed strong knowledge over the decades. Dr Chung also introduced Hong Kong's strengths in applied research and development as well as intellectual property protection, and referred to the proximity to the manufacturing based in the Pearl River Delta region, making Hong Kong a regional technology service hub.

     Germany is Hong Kong's largest trading partner in Europe and ranked 10th among Hong Kong's trading partners in the world. Bilateral trade amounted to some EUR 12.35 billion in 2014. Hong Kong also played a significant role in the trade between the Mainland of China and Germany, with about 6.5 percent of the trade routed through Hong Kong, amounting to some EUR 8.6 billion. The Heritage Foundation has named Hong Kong the world's freest economy for 21 consecutive years.

About Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin

     HKETO Berlin is the official Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government representative in commercial relations and other economic and trade matters in Germany as well as Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Ends/Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Issued at HKT 00:35

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