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Friday, 16 October 2015, 16:30 HKT/SGT

Source: HKTDC
Hong Kong Dinner In London Highlights Belt & Road Plan
Opportunities for Business, Investment, Transport, Finance and Education collaboration spotlighted

HONG KONG, Oct 16, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - The United Kingdom and Hong Kong should work together to benefit from China's Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to strengthen connectivity between Asia and Europe, guests at the annual Hong Kong Dinner in London, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), were told last night (15 October).

Hong Kong Dinner In London Highlights Belt & Road Plan

The 32nd annual Hong Kong Dinner in London at the Dorchester welcomed more than 450 business leaders and senior government officials from the UK and Hong Kong. This year's guest speakers were Hong Kong's Chief Executive CY Leung and UK Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP.

Hosting the event for the first time since taking up the chairmanship of the HKTDC in June, Vincent HS Lo acknowledged China's slowing economic growth and its impact on the global economy has been a concern for the business community worldwide, but he endorsed the recent claim by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne that "China will continue to be a massive source of growth."

"And as China and the UK continue to forge closer ties, Hong Kong is in a perfect position to help you benefit from this relationship," said Mr Lo.

Mr Lo highlighted China's Belt and Road development plan connecting Europe to Asia, covering 65 countries, 60 per cent of the world's population (4.6 billion people) and accounting for 30 per cent of global GDP. He said a plan of this scale would undoubtedly bring opportunities to a number of industries. Mr Lo added that the HKTDC planned to turn Hong Kong into the information hub for the Belt and Road Initiative, and said London, a global financial centre, can play the leading role for the Belt and Road development in Europe.

In his keynote address, Mr Leung highlighted Hong Kong's unique advantages. "Our institutional strengths work hand-in-hand with the 'one country, two systems' arrangement that Hong Kong enjoys. Together, they have shaped an economy without precedent, a people powered by the twin engines of China and the world," said Mr Leung.

"We are blessed with a pool of multilingual, multicultural and multitalented professionals in a wide spectrum of industries. All these make Hong Kong the most desirable headquarters backup hub and global operational support centre, as well as an ideal training centre, for the Belt and Road".

Secretary McLoughlin outlined areas for partnership between the UK and Hong Kong, including maritime finance, insurance, ship management, green public transport, rail networks and education. He said that Hong Kong's MTR Corp will operate Crossrail, London's east-west railway, when it is finished in 2019. He also noted large-scale investment by Hong Kong companies in UK development projects.

"We must build on our shared transport interests to encourage trade of all kinds. Already almost 120 British businesses have chosen Hong Kong for their Chinese headquarters. Hong Kong is one of the UK's top 10 export markets. In the first six months of this year UK companies have signed Hong Kong contracts worth one billion pounds," he said, adding that Malvern and Shrewsbury schools have each been awarded Hong Kong contracts worth GBP 100 million.

The Hong Kong Dinner in London has been held annually since 1983. Guests at this year's event included Sir CK Chow, Chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited; Victor Chu, Chairman, First Eastern Investment Group; Baroness Dunn, Chairman, Hong Kong Association; Robert Goodwill, UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport; Stuart Gulliver, Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings plc; Dr. Ko Wing-man, Secretary for Food and Health, HKSAR Government; Sir Henry Keswick, Chairman, Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited; Lady Keswick, Deputy Chairman, Centre for Policy Studies; Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador, The People's Republic of China; Hugo Swire, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Caroline Wilson, British Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau; Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, former Governor of Hong Kong; and Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered Bank.

Photo Download: http://bit.ly/1KcLGrc

Communication and Public Affairs Department
Joe Kainz
Tel: +852 2584 4216
Email: joe.kainz@hktdc.org

Topic: Trade Show or Conference
Source: HKTDC

Sectors: Trade Shows, Retail & eCommerce, Consumer Electronics, Daily News, Advertising
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