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Our fundamentals remain sound and robust: Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA (with photos)
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     Despite the challenging and volatile international business environment in 2015, Hong Kong's trade ties with the United States have remained close and the city's fundamentals stay robust, said Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Mr Clement Leung, at a Chinese New Year reception of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York (HKETONY), in Harvard Club on February 9 (New York time).

     Mr Leung told more than 350 guests comprising business and government leaders that the strengths underpinning the economic success of Hong Kong were well recognised, citing the latest ranking by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal that the city continued to be the freest economy of the world, for 22 consecutive years.

    According to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom Report, the Foundation deems the implementation of prudent economic policy within a stable and transparent legal environment to be the cornerstone of Hong Kong's continuing achievement in maintaining the world's freest economy.

    Mr Leung remained upbeat about Hong Kong's business friendly environment, adding that the International Monetary Fund has recognized the strength and resilience of the city's economic fundamentals, banking system, financial infrastructure and regulatory standards.  

    Investors' confidence in the city's power to raise funds could not have been higher. Lastí@year Hong Kong regained the global number one spot for IPOs, and helped link up Chinese and international investors through the Shanghai Hong Kong Stock Connect and mutual recognition of funds.

    The bilateral ties between Hong Kong and the US remained strong in 2015 with Hong Kong being the 9th largest export market for American goods, Mr Leung said.

     Looking forward, Mr Leung said Hong Kong's economy is forecast to grow at a mild 2.4 percent and remains a prime beneficiary of the reform, liberalisation and development in Mainland China, in the midst of the new normal of a moderate pace of economic growth.
     
     Welcoming the guests, Director of HKETONY, Mr Steve Barclay, said his office would continue its mission to vigorously promote trade relations and closer arts and cultural, educational and sporting ties, as well as to reach out to younger generations of Americans in the 31 Eastern US states.

     HKETONY has partnered with established US arts and cultural bodies to nurture young artists from Hong Kong, Mr Barclay said. Two HKETONY Yale-China Arts Fellows, interdisciplinary artist and researcher Phoebe Hui, and dancer Ying Cai, arrived in mid-January for a six-month residency at Yale University under a partnership program with the Yale-China Association. In March, HKETONY-Asian Cultural Council Fellow Connie Lam, an arts administrator by training, will be in New York City for an exchange programme.

     The office has also invited a number of artists with Hong Kong connections to take part in its promotional programs. Illustrator Phoenix Chan was invited for the design and creation of the Monkey King for the reception invitation card. Miss Chan emigrated from Hong Kong to the US when she was 17. The reception also featured jazz performances by Hong Kong native, jazz guitarist and composer Alan Kwan, alongside with Lars Ekman on bass and Fabian Almazan on piano.

Ends/Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:02

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