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HKETO celebrates Year of the Monkey in Los Angeles (with photos)
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     The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) held a spring reception in Los Angeles today (February 24, Los Angeles time) to celebrate the Year of the Monkey.

     The Director of the HKETO in San Francisco, Ms Subrina Chow, welcomed more than 130 business, political and academic leaders in Southern California to the event.

     Ms Chow shared some positive news on trade between Hong Kong and California.  Although 2015 was not a good year for global trade, Hong Kong remains an excellent market for California goods. "Our city of 7.3 million residents and 60 million visitors has in fact risen one place to become the fifth largest export destination for California merchandise exports last year. We imported a total of US$8.8 billion worth of goods from the Golden State in 2015. That's a 3.3 per cent increase over 2014. We are hopeful that this growth momentum will continue, bringing trade between California and Hong Kong to another new high in 2016," she said.

     She also highlighted some visits made by young Hongkongers to southern California in 2015. "Three delegations of young people from Hong Kong visited Los Angeles last summer and fall. In July, young musicians from the Hong Kong Children's Symphony Orchestra gave three recitals, and young athletes of the Hong Kong Delegation participated in the Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles. The second exhibition co-organised by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and the Chinese American Museum, which opened last October, brought a third group of young people to the City of Angels on a tour to study the history of the Chinese diaspora and the role of Hong Kong as the primary gateway linking China and the Americas."

     Also speaking at the reception, the Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Mr Clement Leung, said that the Hong Kong economy grew at 2.4 per cent thanks to the healthy job market and low unemployment rate of 3.3 per cent, strong domestic consumption and investment spending.

     "Hong Kong is still a prime beneficiary of reform, liberalisation and development in mainland China. We overtook New York again last year as the number one stock exchange for initial public offerings, raising US$33 billion for 82 companies. We have helped link up Chinese and international investors through the Shanghai Hong Kong Stock Connect and mutual recognition of funds. We have set a new record with nearly 8,000 overseas and Mainland companies choosing Hong Kong for their regional operations íV and 1,400 of them are US companies," Mr Leung said.

     Both Mr Leung and Ms Chow said they would continue to encourage collaborations between Hong Kong and the United States, not only in trade and investments, but also in arts and culture. They will be hosting a spring reception in Dallas tomorrow.

Ends/Thursday, February 25, 2016
Issued at HKT 14:32

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