HKETO rings in Year of the Dog in San Francisco

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) held a spring reception in San Francisco today (February 26, San Francisco time) to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

     In welcoming some 300 guests from the city’s political, business, art and culture communities, the Director of the HKETO in San Francisco, Mr Ivanhoe Chang, said that he was happy to witness the continued partnership, whether in trade or in culture, between Hong Kong and California, particularly with the San Francisco Bay Area.

     Trade between Hong Kong and California continues to gain new ground. "We had a remarkable 25 per cent increase in exports from California to Hong Kong from 2016 to 2017.

     "Last year, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, we brought in an artist, musicians and a sports team from Hong Kong and saw much collaboration among them and the local institutions and organisations. We also conducted youth exchanges and held a business leader luncheon," Mr Chang said.

     "We will continue to encourage and facilitate these exchanges when opportunities arise.

This evening, we are glad to bring to you a special performance by S/L/A/S/H, a professional rope skipping team from Hong Kong. The five performers together with their team leader have participated in and won different Asian and world rope skipping championships. Their performance routine not only features rope skipping, but also includes power movements, gymnastics and dancing.

This energetic performance would be a good way to kick off the Year of the Dog," Mr Chang added.

     Also speaking at the reception was the Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Mr Clement Leung. In reviewing the past year, Mr Leung said that Hong Kong had an excellent year. "Our economy grew about 3.5 per cent, the fastest rate in six years.

External trade, retail sales and tourism were back up again, and the unemployment rate was only 2.9 per cent, which was the lowest level in 20 years.

     "Our public finance is in great shape: we are able to increase spending, cut taxes and achieve a budget surplus, all at the same time," Mr Leung said.

     Looking ahead, Mr Leung said that Hong Kong is pushing ahead with the construction of the third airport runway, and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macao and western Guangdong Province will open later this year. In addition, the express rail link will be ready for operation in the third quarter of 2018 and that would cut travel time from Hong Kong to Guangzhou from over two hours to 48 minutes. 

     In addition to building cross-boundary infrastructural projects, Hong Kong also provides a vibrant ecosystem for start-ups. Both Mr Leung and Mr Chang encouraged innovation and technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area to raise funds and conduct research and development in Hong Kong, and to use Hong Kong as a platform for expanding into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area and other parts of China.

     The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco will host spring receptions in three other cities – Los Angeles (February 28), Seattle (March 1) and Houston (March 5).

The rope-skipping world champions will perform in Los Angeles and Seattle before departing for Hong Kong. 

Published on: 2018-02-27

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