Gala reception and "A Musical Journey" concert held in San Francisco to celebrate HKSAR 20th anniversary (English only) (with photos)
Close to 400 guests from the local business, political and academic communities attended the reception, held at the Green Room, San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center. Many of them also attended the concert "A Musical Journey" at the Herbst Theatre.
"Twenty years ago, Hong Kong proudly reunited with our homeland. Under the 'one country, two systems' arrangement, we are part of China but are able to maintain a unique identity. Hong Kong continues to be successful as the premier international business centre in Asia. Our economy has nearly doubled in size over the past two decades. We are the undefeated champion as the freest economy of the world for 23 years. We are the number one IPO stock market," the Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Mr Clement Leung, said at the reception.
"With the full support of the Central Government in Beijing, 'one country, two systems' enables Hong Kong to be the first mover to capture the economic opportunities arising from the reform, development and opening up of Mainland China. Other than our pillar economic sectors of trade, financial services, tourism and professional services, new sectors and opportunities have emerged. These include the development of Hong Kong as the largest centre for offshore Renminbi business, implementation of the Stock Connect programmes that enable international investors to access the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, our vibrant innovation and technology start-up ecosystem, wine auction and distribution, arts, culture and creative industries, as well as China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative," he continued.
Hong Kong enjoys free trade and open markets, with low taxes and a level playing field for local and foreign companies alike. The city continues to maintain a strong bilateral relationship with the United States, which is Hong Kong's second largest trading partner.
"As Hong Kong Commissioner, I have visited some 28 states, travelling from the Big Apple to the Big Easy, from San Francisco Bay to Back Bay, and from the Appalachia to the Alamo. But wherever I go, I can feel the same goodwill and support towards Hong Kong. We are grateful for the friendship of the people in this great country," Mr Leung said.
The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco, Mr Ivanhoe Chang, also expressed his appreciation for many friends of Hong Kong who joined the celebration events organised by the Office to celebrate Hong Kong's special milestone.
The celebration activities began in January this year when six giant vase-shaped bamboo sculptures, designed by Hong Kong designer Freeman Lau, were installed at the Civic Center Plaza, outside the City Hall of San Francisco. A Hong Kong-Young Entrepreneur Competition was just completed and five US college students who won the competition with their innovative business ideas will embark on a week-long trip to Hong Kong next month to see first-hand the city's start-up ecosystem as well as the rich and dynamic culture.
"Speaking of culture, Hong Kong's cosmopolitan community enjoys a wide selection of arts and cultural events from East and West. The 40-hectare West Kowloon Cultural District, on a prime waterfront site overlooking the harbour, will lift Hong Kong's position as an arts and cultural hub to new heights," Mr Chang said.
He said he was excited to bring over 60 members of the Hong Kong Oratorio Society from Hong Kong to join hands with Voices of the Valley of the San Francisco Bay Area for the very first time to perform a special concert in California.
"Tonight, we are excited to present to you choirs from Hong Kong and San Francisco Bay Area and orchestra and Chinese ensemble music as well as Symphony No. 8 'This Boundless Land', composed by Professor Chan Wing-wah, Music Director of Hong Kong Oratorio Society, with lyrics by San Francisco-based writer Dr Sonia Ng," Mr Chang said.
Putting together a concert across the Pacific is no easy task. Mr Chang thanked Hong Kong Oratorio Society and Voices of the Valley who worked tirelessly to make this musical journey happen.
Receptions, film events, sports activities and a business conference are planned in various cities across different western states as part of the events to celebrate the HKSAR 20th anniversary.
Ends/Saturday, June 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:07
Issued at HKT 14:07