Celebration of Hong Kong cinema in Italy concludes with business seminar and lively street party

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      A celebration of Hong Kong cinema at the Salento International Film Festival in Tricase, Italy, supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels (HKETO, Brussels), concluded on September 7 (Tricase time) with a Hong Kong day that comprised a business seminar, a filmscreening and a lively street party with popular singer Heidi Li. Guests included distinguished British actress Dame Helen Mirren.

     The Festival, held from September 1 to 10, presented a three-day Hong Kong Cinema Panorama from September 5 to 7, featuring Tsui Hark's "The Taking of Tiger Mountain", Wilson Yip's "Ip Man 3" and Teddy Chen's "Kung Fu Jungle", as well as the European premiere of Eve Chong's documentary "Water of Life and Death", which was running in the international competition. 

     Attended by about 600 people, the Hong Kong Night party, featuring a free concert by neosoul, pop and jazz singer-songwriter Heidi Li, was held in the ancient town's main square, Piazza Pisanelli, after the screening of the blockbuster "Kung Fu Jungle". Li, who was accompanied by Manuel Magrini on piano, was born in Hong Kong and cites Cantonese opera as a strong influence.

Based in Italy for the past seven years, she mastered the ability to sing folk songs in different Italian dialects and quickly made a reputation for herself. In October 2016 she was invited by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to sing at the States General of the Italian Language in the World at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. 

     Earlier in the day, at a business seminar organised by HKETO, Brussels as well as Invest Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, speakers explained to Italian business people how Hong Kong can help them to grow their business in Mainland China and Asia.

     The Deputy Representative of HKETO, Brussels, Miss Alice Choi, said that Hong Kong, uniquely powered by the combined advantages of "one country" and "two systems", is the gateway between Mainland China and the rest of the world. Hong Kong is also preparing to play a key role in two of the most exciting national initiatives in recent years, China's Belt and Road Initiative and China's development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area.

Hong Kong can also help Italian companies seize the abundant opportunities these two initiatives will bring.

     Miss Choi noted that Italy is an important and valued trading partner of Hong Kong. More than 350 Italian companies in various sectors including banking, fashion and luxury goods, transportation, automotive manufacturing, food and wine, trading and retail are already established in the city.

     "Hong Kong people very much enjoy Italian food and wine and the Italian lifestyle, and we have a total of 30 Italian restaurants in Hong Kong that have been awarded the "Golden Q" label of quality of Ospitalità Italiana. Hong Kong is a free port for wine, and last November over 250 Italian wine producers took part in the Vinitaly International fair in Hong Kong," Miss Choi said.

     She added that in the first quarter of this year, Italian exports of textiles to Hong Kong increased by 10.8 per cent, and those to Mainland China by 22.1 per cent.

"This means that combined, Hong Kong and the Mainland are the second largest market in the world for Italian textiles," she said.

     Famous for its design, Italy will be the partner country for Hong Kong's Business of Design Week from December 4 to 9. It is the second time that Italy has been chosen as partner country.

     During her visit to Italy, Miss Choi also met with the Mayor of Tricase, Mr Carlo Chiuri, and members of the City Council to brief them on business opportunities for Italian companies.

Published on: 2017-09-11

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