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Italy and Hong Kong Strengthen Trade Links
Economic Cooperation Agreement Signed
Following Italian Design Day Opening

Umberto Vattani, President of the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (left), and Fred Lam, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, exchange gifts following the signing today of an expanded cooperation agreement between the two trade organisations

December 12, 2007 - The Italian and Hong Kong trade organisations today signed an economic cooperation agreement pledging further trade expansion between the two economies.

The MOU was signed by Umberto Vattani, President of the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade, and Fred Lam, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC).

The MOU signing ceremony followed the formal opening of Italian Design Day, one of the highlights of this year's Inno Design Tech Expo (IDT Expo), which also opened today.

"We appreciate the Institute's support for our efforts, both in Italy and here in Hong Kong," said Mr Lam, speaking at the opening ceremony. "From trade missions to trade fairs - and just about every other kind of cooperative venture - we work together to bring opportunity to Italian and Hong Kong business. Today's Italian Design Day - the largest exhibition of its kind ever to come to Hong Kong - is only the latest example of our mutual efforts."

The new MOU is the third such agreement signed by the two trade bodies. The initial cooperation agreement was signed in 2003 and
renewed in 2005.

"This latest agreement will build on the good foundation we've established," said Mr Lam. "It will encourage more cooperation among Hong Kong and Italian companies, especially our SMEs. It will strengthen promotional efforts between Hong Kong and Italian companies - help them to sell, source, manufacture and invest in Italy and in Hong Kong, and in the Chinese mainland through Hong Kong."

Hong Kong exports to Italy increased nine percent - to US$3.5 billion - in the first 10 months of 2007. Imports from Italy are up 11 per cent - to US$3.4 billion - in the first 10 months of this year.

Today's MOU was signed in conjunction with today's joint opening ceremony for IDT Expo and World SME Expo, the two fairs organised by the TDC. IDT Expo, an international design and technology fair, counts about 300 exhibitors from more than 20 countries and regions and continues through December 15. World SME Expo welcomes about 330 exhibitors from more than 40 countries and regions and includes the December 13 International Business Convention, featuring renowned management expert Dr Kenichi Ohmae. World SME Expo concludes December 14.

Also running this week is Business of Design Week (BODW), which spotlights more than 100 of the world's leading designers and business leaders and educators. Organised by the Hong Kong Design Centre and co-organised by the TDC, BODW continues through December 15.

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Media Enquiries
Please contact the TDC's Corporate Communication Department:

Victor George Paddy Tel: (852) 2584 4517 Email: victor.paddy@tdc.org.hk

About the TDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) 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 TDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The TDC 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, visit www.tdctrade.com

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