Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York
Hong Kong


Remarks by Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York Steve Barclay
at a Media Session (July 26, 2017)

Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Steve Barclay, and I’m very pleased to have served as Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office here in New York since 2014.

• I have mixed emotions as I head back to Hong Kong after my retirement this Friday. I’m glad to have made it to retirement and collect my pension. But this job, here in New York, is the best posting I’ve had in the Hong Kong civil service, and I will certainly miss it.

• I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight some of my proudest accomplishments in my three-year term as Director here.

• For one, my office has successfully begun to reach out to a whole new generation of young Americans.

• The reason for that is that older people still remember the 1980s and ’90s, when there was a lot of international media coverage of Hong Kong leading up to the handover. But that died down by about 2000, so young people who don’t remember that coverage, if they don’t have a Hong Kong connection, know nothing about Hong Kong.

• So we need to do much more comprehensive work to connect withthe younger generation.

• Our Facebook page, “Hong Kong Meets America,” which we launched in January 2015, has since accumulated more than 9,000 likes, and we post on it nearly every day.

• Then there’s sports, of course. My office has sponsored several more HK dragon boat festivals, in Chicago and Philadelphia, besides the ones we were already sponsoring in Atlanta, Boston, and New York.
• In November 2015, we started sponsoring a number of rugby sevens tournaments, here in New York and in Pennsylvania.

• There is an instant rapport for the American rugby players with Hong Kong, because of the Hong Kong Sevens, the world’s most famous tournament for rugby sevens.

• Hong Kong plans to continue to expand its involvement in rugby across the US.

• Then there’s the work we have done in the fields of arts and culture, to try and help Hong Kong’s young musicians and artists in particular. We have launched a database of Hong Kong artists and musicians based in the US, to help give them a push in their careers.

• We have also sponsored a number of film festivals, featuring both new and well-established filmmakers. One of them was organised by a group of Hong Kong young graduates.

• Also, for the past two years, we have offered internships to undergraduate students from both Hong Kong and the US, to provide them with a mind-broadening experience. You can ask them, I’m sure they’ll tell you they’re enjoying their time here, and I bet it’s true.

• Next, there’s the important, if less exciting, work we have done to maintain our relationships with the 31 states under our jurisdiction. This work is very important, since it, along with the work done by all the other Hong Kong agencies here in the US, like the TDC, HKMA, Tourism Board, and InvestHK, enables Hong Kong businesses to achieve their potential.

• I have personally visited all 31 of those states. I met 9 governors, 8 lieutenant governors, and 8 mayors; and conducted 14 (although I’m sure it’s more than that) talks for business chambers and 24 campus talks in 16 states.

• Finally, my office has been proud to organise programs and activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR here in the US this year.

• Our celebrations have included both new initiatives and our regular programs rebranded in honour of the anniversary. These have included a gala dinner, a bell ringing ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange, a fashion show, concerts, and more.

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