London ETO greets Year of Rabbit (with photos)

     The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London (London ETO) greeted the Year of the Rabbit in the United Kingdom (UK) by hosting a celebratory reception in London on January 26 (London time) and participating in a large-scale London Chinatown celebration in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and Charing Cross Road on January 22. 

     The Director-General of the London ETO, Mr Gilford Law, welcomed around 400 guests at the Year of the Rabbit reception on January 26 at the Banqueting House, Whitehall, in London. Amongst the guests were UK government officials, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, parliamentarians, mayors from London Boroughs, senior diplomats, leading figures in the business sector, academics, media representatives and members of the Hong Kong community.

     Speaking at the reception, Mr Law highlighted Hong Kong's readiness to reconnect with the world and quoted recent international events staged in the city. He elaborated on Hong Kong's lifting of travel restrictions and certain social distancing measures as well as the progressive resumption of normal travel between the Mainland and Hong Kong, and encouraged the audience to visit Hong Kong in person.

     Mr Law added, "As stressed by President Xi Jinping in his important speech delivered on July 1, 2022, the 'one country, two systems' principle has been tested repeatedly in practice and we must adhere to such a good policy in the long run. The principle has supported Hong Kong in maintaining our distinctive status and edges. Riding on the recent resumption of cross-border travel, Hong Kong will continue to serve as a super connector for worldwide businesses."

     Mr Law also reiterated the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)'s commitment to compete for enterprises and compete for talents, as promulgated under the HKSAR Chief Executive's latest Policy Address. "A Co-Investment Fund of HK$30 billion (around 3 billion British pounds) will be set up for attracting enterprises to set up operations in Hong Kong and investing in their businesses. Meanwhile, under a new Top Talent Pass Scheme, eligible talents can get a two‑year pass for exploring opportunities in Hong Kong. Those eligible include high salary earners or graduates from the world's top 100 universities. In the case of the UK, a total of 19 universities are on this list. The London ETO has also set up a Dedicated Team for Attracting Businesses and Talents to assist those who are interested," he said.

     The reception featured a lion dance as well as a flute ensemble performance with a variety of classical and contemporary pieces.

     On January 22, the London ETO took part in the huge annual London Chinatown celebration which was attended by hundreds of thousands of people. Mr Law, together with other honourable guests including the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Hamza Taouzzale; the Chairman of the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA), Mr Tang Chu-ting, OBE; the President of the LCCA, Mr Peter Lam; and the Chairperson of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) Board of Directors cum Chairperson of the Board of Governors of Tung Wah College, Mr Philip Ma, joined the celebration parade and greeted the crowd in London from an open-air double decker bus. Audiences in London also enjoyed a series of cultural and music performances at Trafalgar Square. With the facilitation of the London ETO, a lively dance performance was presented by TWGHs student ambassadors from Hong Kong.

     The London ETO will organise further events to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit in the countries under its purview in the coming weeks.

Ends/Saturday, January 28, 2023
Issued at HKT 7:00