Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong
News Release

Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Visits Washington



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Daniel McAtee in Washington, D.C.: (202) 238 6360
Melissa Ng in New York City: (212) 752 3320
Wing Yan Tong in San Francisco: (415) 835 9315


June 12, 2019 - Speaking during a visit to the United States, Edward Yau, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, said that the trade and economic relationship between Hong Kong and the U.S. is mutually beneficial and expanding. It is a relationship defined by the unique status of Hong Kong under the Basic Law, the city’s constitutional document, and its distinct qualities of the rule of law buttressed by an independent judiciary; a commitment to creating a pro-trade environment; and the free flow of information, goods and people, he said.

Mr. Yau made the comments last night at a reception hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office for U.S. government officials, think tank members, academics, and leaders of chambers of commerce and business organizations.

Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Visits Washington

Mr. Yau noted that the U.S. has enjoyed its highest trade surplus globally with Hong Kong since 2009, with the aggregate trade in goods surplus over the past decade amounting to US$297 billion. Hong Kong is also an attractive destination for U.S. direct investment. In 2017, U.S. foreign direct investment in Hong Kong was over US$81 billion. There are roughly 1,400 US companies and 85,000 American citizens in Hong Kong, one of the most significant foreign presences in the city.

He said Hong Kong will continue to explore ways to deepen and broaden its links with the U.S. in areas such as collaborations in innovation and technology and educational, scientific and medical exchanges. He cited an example in the start-up scene that in 2018 nearly 16 percent of non-local founders of start-ups in Hong Kong were from the U.S.

Earlier, Mr. Yau met with U.S. political leaders and representatives of a think tank to keep them abreast of Hong Kong’s latest developments, as well as to exchange views on current trade issues and the Hong Kong-U.S. bilateral relationship.

Mr. Yau had a breakfast meeting with former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, before meeting with U.S. congressional members, namely the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Chuck Grassley; the chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Cory Gardner; and the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, James McGovern.

Mr. Yau also had a lunch meeting with senior members of The Heritage Foundation, including its founder, Edwin Feulner. He welcomed the foundation’s high regard for Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy for 25 consecutive years, which he said reaffirmed the Hong Kong government’s steadfast commitment in upholding free market principles over the years.

Earlier in the week Mr. Yau attended an event in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. He said Hong Kong has long been a preferred platform for American companies seeking to establish or expand their business in the Mainland of China or throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Few of Hong Kong’s rivals can compete with its soft assets such as its institutions and professional services, coupled with its efficient and reliable hard infrastructure.

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