San Francisco ETO hosts reception to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit
For more information, please contact:
Melissa Ng / David Hsieh at 212-752-3320
Daniel McAtee at 202-238-6360
Wing Yan Tong at 415-835-9315
February 10, 2011 - More than 300 distinguished guests, consuls general, senior government officials and business leaders celebrated the Year of the Rabbit at the Spring Reception hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office at the Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco.
Addressing the guests, the Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Donald Tong said that Hong Kong had an auspicious start of the year as the city was ranked the world’s freest economy for the 17th consecutive year by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The findings demonstrate Hong Kong’s adherence to free market principles and the rule of law which enabled the city to weather the global economic crisis and preserve its renowned business-friendly environment.
Commenting on the economic development in Hong Kong, Mr. Tong said “for 2010 as a whole, we forecast Hong Kong’s GDP growth of around 6.5%.”
He said that a noteworthy development has been Hong Kong’s emergence as a testing ground for the internationalization of the Renminbi (RMB).
Mr. Tong said that U.S. companies might like to take advantage of the introduction of a pilot program which allows Hong Kong and foreign companies to settle cross-border trade transaction in RMB with eligible enterprises in Mainland China.
The introduction of the RMB denominated bonds and other RMB banking services and financial products presents a unique opportunity for Hong Kong to position herself as China’s global financial center.
“Another significant development is Hong Kong’s status as an international capital formation center,” he said.
He said that the wine market in Hong Kong is also booming. Echoing Mr. Tong’s comments, Mr. Jeff Leung, Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco said he was happy to see a California-themed wine bar as well as wine exporting and trading companies from California setting up venue and offices in Hong Kong.
Mr. Leung encouraged officials from California to visit Hong Kong to further the partnership between Hong Kong and California.
“Our Office will continue to arrange for senior officials from Hong Kong to address the local communities to strengthen the business, trade and cultural ties between Hong Kong and California,” he concluded.
While in San Francisco, Mr. Tong met with California Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, California State Senator, Curren Price and Executive Director, California State Board of Food and Agriculture, Department of Food and Agriculture, Joshua Eddy to update them about the latest developments of Hong Kong including the booming wine business. They exchanged views on how Hong Kong and California should further strengthen collaboration on the promotion of California wine business in Hong Kong.