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SCED exchanges views with local consulate representatives of Middle East countries on business opportunities under "Belt and Road" initiative (with photo)

     The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, today (September 30) met with the local consulate representatives of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to strengthen Hong Kong's bilateral ties with the five countries and exchange views on how the Middle East and Hong Kong can work together to capitalise on the wealth of opportunities emerging from the "Belt and Road" initiative put forward by the Central Government.

     Attending the meeting with Mr So were the Consul-General of the United Arab Emirates in Hong Kong, Mr Ahmed Naser Alkhaja; the Consul-General of Kuwait in Hong Kong, Mr Khaled Bader Al-Mutairi; the Consul-General of Qatar in Hong Kong, Sultan Bin Ali Yousif Al-Khater; the Vice Consul of Saudi Arabia in Hong Kong, Mr Fahd Mnikhr; and the Honorary Vice Consul of Bahrain in Hong Kong, Mr Ivan Tam.

     Mr So told the representatives that the Middle East countries are an integral part of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road where the land and sea Silk Roads merge. With strong complementarity between the Middle East countries and Hong Kong, the potential synergy of strengthening the connections between the economies is enormous.

     "Hong Kong has a clear competitive edge in becoming a major platform for China and the countries along the 'Belt and Road' in the areas of fund-raising, investment and financing, trading and logistics, supply of professional services, tourism development and new and creative industries, as well as establishing people-to-people bonds. We encourage businesses from the Middle East economies to make full use of Hong Kong's advantage when they venture into China as well as other markets along the 'Belt and Road'," Mr So said.

     Mr So also said the trade ties between Hong Kong and the five countries are encouraging, noting that the average annual growth rates in bilateral trade between Hong Kong and the countries in the past five years have ranged from 5 to 40 per cent. He also took the opportunity to thank the efforts of the consulates in promoting stronger bilateral relations with Hong Kong.

Ends/Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:41


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