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Alabama delegation meets to discuss business opportunities

Representatives from the Birmingham business community visit the HKETONY office to discuss ways to expand its commercial relationship with Hong Kong. From right: Claudia Yeung, head of communications and PR at HKETONY; Warren McCullers, director economic development at Energen Inc.; James Dedes, executive director of the Shelby County Economic and Industrial Development Authority; Don Smith, executive director of the St. Clair County Economic Development Council; D. Kelly Jones, head of investment promotion at IHK; Alan Reeves, project manager of educational development at the Birmingham Business Alliance; and Douglas Lee,deputy head of investment promotion at IHK.

A group of Birmingham Business Alliance key members visited the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York (HKETONY) on May 5 to explore business opportunities between the largest city in Alabama and Hong Kong.

Led by Warren McCullers, director of economic development at Energen Inc., the group was updated on the economic and financial status of Hong Kong as well as on the business facilitation services of the Invest Hong Kong (IHK) team.

Claudia Yeung, head of communications and PR at HKETONY, highlighted the important years-long trading partnership between Alabama and Hong Kong. In 2013, the southern state exported US$169 million in goods to Hong Kong. The top three export items were food manufacturing, computers and electronics, and transportation equipment. She also discussed the competitive edges that Hong Kong enjoys as the premier gateway to China.

Meanwhile, D. Kelly Jones, head of investment promotion at IHK in New York, highlighted the favorable tax structures and the highly skilled work force that make Hong Kong attractive to investors.

The delegation acknowledged the city’s role as a regional hub of finance and education and mentioned that some of the state’s exports to Hong Kong probably consist of Mercedes Benz automobiles that are manufactured at a new facility in the state.

Both sides agreed to keep lines of communication open and to look for creative and mutually beneficial ways to build on the success of the past.


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