5 Sept 2009
Czech Republic Prime Minister Visits Hong Kong
Continuing Cooperation “Best Remedy” for Overcoming Economic Downturn, says Prime Minister
5 September 2009 – Jan Fischer, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, told an audience of senior Hong Kong business leaders this morning that “the best remedy to overcoming the economic crisis” was to continue the excellent cooperation that exists between Hong Kong and the Czech Republic.
The Prime Minister, in his first official visit to Hong Kong since assuming his office earlier this year, was speaking today at a business luncheon hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
“For the Czech Republic, Hong Kong represents one of the largest export markets in Asia,” he said, adding that growth potential on both sides was promising. “We especially consider the areas of engineering, electronics, the automobile industry, the environment and the food, textile and glass industries to have good prospects.” He also noted “higher forms of cooperation to be important, such as services, investment and cooperation on third markets.”
Last year, total trade between the two economies reached US$916 million, up 20 per cent over the previous year. In the first seven months of 2009, Czech exports to Hong Kong increased 13 per cent, while Hong Kong exports to the Czech Republic dropped 10 per cent over the same period.
Noting the dip in Hong Kong exports this year, the Prime Minister said, “I am convinced that due to our traditions and technological development, our position in the centre of Europe and membership in the European Union, that we are an excellent destination for Hong Kong businesses. It is no accident that Czech Invest, the Czech agency for investment support, opened an office in Hong Kong in 2002.”
The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of extending ties between Hong Kong and the Czech Republic beyond “pure business,” to include scientific cooperation, education and culture.
HKTDC Executive Director Fred Lam, who also addressed the breakfast meeting, noted the many senior government and business missions between Hong Kong and the Czech Republic over the years, added that the HKTDC was organizing a “major Hong Kong business delegation to Prague” later this month. “It is in bilateral business gatherings such as today’s,” said Mr Lam, “that business between our two economies will continue to grow.”
The morning meeting also included the signing of two MOUs, one between the HKTDC and the Czech Chamber of Commerce and another between the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Czech Chamber of Commerce.
Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department:
Tel: (852) 2584 4341
About the HKTDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 offices worldwide, including 11 in the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, www.hktdc.com