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

Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Hosts Chinese New Year Reception


For more information, please contact

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

January 30, 2020 - Some 600 guests attended a Chinese New Year reception on January 29 hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington, D.C., to welcome the Year of the Rat.

Speaking to a distinguished audience which included United States administration officials and congressional staffers, Eddie Mak, Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, acknowledged the challenges Hong Kong faced in the past year, as well as those emerging from the current global health crisis. He noted that the past year saw the beginning of a period of unprecedented unrest in the city which has caused concerns among our friends in the US. Amidst the tumult, he said that the government continued to engage in dialogues with the community while pursuing policies to address the deep-seated issues behind the protests. “This requires an earnest effort to understand diverse views and deftly balance the interests of all in implementing the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” Mr. Mak said.

Despite the strain on the city, Mr. Mak underscored that Hong Kong’s institutional strengths, notably the rule of law and an independent judiciary, have been upheld.

Mr. Mak stated that the economy hadn’t fared well last year due to slowing global growth, global trade tensions and the prolonged unrest in Hong Kong. Real GDP growth forecast for 2019 has been revised downwards to negative 1.3 percent.

To respond to the aspirations of the community, Mr. Mak said that the government is moving forward with plans to increase land and housing supply. In addition, within the next five years the city will bring online infrastructure projects which will create jobs and further position Hong Kong for the future. These include a third airport runway, the Kai Tak Sports Park and the expansion of the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Hong Kong would continue to capitalize on emerging regional opportunities, such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative. In addition, Hong Kong would play to its strengths in areas such as innovation and technology and financial services, particularly in fintech and green finance.

Mr. Mak highlighted the robust trade and business ties between Hong Kong and the US. He noted that the US’ largest worldwide bilateral trade surplus in 2018 was with Hong Kong, at over US$33 billion.

Illustrating the strong bilateral ties, he welcomed the “Trade Winds”, the largest annual trade mission led by US Department of Commerce, heading to Hong Kong coming April. Mr. Mak said the trade mission would provide an excellent platform for American firms to explore trade and business opportunities in the region through Hong Kong.

The Commissioner's full remarks are available here.

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