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Hong Kong fundamentals remain sound and robust

Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Clement Leung (fourth from right) and Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York (HKETONY) Steve Barclay (third from right) lead a toast to a healthy and prosperous Year of the Monkey at the Chinese New Year reception in New York. Other guests are (from left) Chairperson of Hong Kong Association of New York Mary Darby, Head of Investment Promotion of HKETONY Kristi Shalla, Chief Representative for the New York Representative Office of Hong Kong Monetary Authority Lawrence Cheung, Deputy Consul General of the People's Republic of China in New York Cheng Lei, Regional Director of Americas of Hong Kong Trade Development Council Ralph Chow and USA Director of Hong Kong Tourism Board Bill Flora.

Despite the challenging and volatile international business environment in 2015, Hong Kong’s trade ties with the United States have remained close and the city’s fundamentals stay robust, said Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Clement Leung. He was speaking at the February 9 Chinese New Year reception of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York (HKETONY) at Harvard Club.

Hong Kong Commissioner Clement Leung speaks at the reception.

Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay delivers welcoming remarks at the reception.

Mr. Leung told more than 350 guests, comprising business and government leaders, that the strengths underpinning the economic success of Hong Kong were well recognized, citing the latest ranking by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal that the city continued to be the freest economy of the world for 22 consecutive years.

According to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom Report, the implementation of prudent economic policy within a stable and transparent legal environment was deemed to be the cornerstone of Hong Kong maintaining the world's freest economy.

Mr. Leung remained upbeat about Hong Kong’s business-friendly environment, adding that the International Monetary Fund has recognized the strength and resilience of the city’s economic fundamentals, banking system, financial infrastructure and regulatory standards.

Investors’ confidence in the city’s power to raise funds could not have been higher. Last year, Hong Kong regained the global No. 1 spot for IPOs, and helped link up Chinese and international investors through the Shanghai Hong Kong Stock Connect and mutual recognition of funds.

The bilateral ties between Hong Kong and the U.S. remained strong in 2015 with Hong Kong being the ninth-largest export market for American goods, Mr. Leung said.

Looking forward, Mr. Leung said Hong Kong remains a prime beneficiary of the reform, liberalization and development in mainland China, in the midst of the new normal of a moderate pace of economic growth.

Welcoming the guests, Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay said his office would continue its mission to vigorously promote trade relations and closer ties in arts and culture, education and sport, as well as to reach out to younger generations of Americans in 31 eastern U.S. states.

Hong Kong-born illustrator Phoenix Chan designed the Monkey King and God of Fortune photo panels for the reception.

Hong Kong native jazz guitarist and composer Alan Kwan (right), alongside Lars Ekman on bass and Fabian Almazan on piano, perform at the reception.

HKETONY has partnered with established U.S. arts and cultural bodies to nurture young artists from Hong Kong, Mr. Barclay said. Two HKETONY Yale-China Arts Fellows, interdisciplinary artist and researcher Phoebe Hui and dancer Ying Cai, arrived in mid-January for a six-month residency at Yale University under a partnership program with the Yale-China Association. In the spring, HKETONY-Asian Cultural Council Fellow Connie Lam, an arts administrator by training, will be in New York City for an exchange program.

The office has also invited a number of artists with Hong Kong connections to take part in its promotional programs. Illustrator Phoenix Chan was invited for the design and creation of the Monkey King for the reception invitation card. Miss Chan emigrated from Hong Kong to the U.S. when she was 17. The reception also featured jazz performances by Hong Kong native guitarist and composer Alan Kwan, alongside Lars Ekman on bass and Fabian Almazan on piano.

Welcoming the Year of the Monkey in Atlanta

Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) welcomed more than 200 guests, comprising officials and executives from government, business and media, to usher in the Year of the Monkey with a Chinese New Year reception on February 18 at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Clement Leung and Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay officiated the event, providing the latest updates on the economic and political developments in Hong Kong as well as the growing bilateral ties between Hong Kong and the state.

Georgia exports to Hong Kong reached US$914 million last year, a whopping 15% growth from 2014. The top five exports were transportation equipment, food manufacturing, machinery, crop and electrical equipment.

During his two-day visit to Atlanta, Mr. Leung spoke at Georgia State University on "Hong Kong: Where China and Global Advantages Converge," highlighting advantages and opportunities of Hong Kong.

While in Atlanta, Mr. Leung and Mr. Barclay also met with senior executives of Coca-Cola and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, exploring opportunities for potential mutual collaboration.



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