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"Rapid rebound" impresses visiting business leaders

Association leaders with TDC staff in Hong Kong.
Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide Christopher Leu, with Director of Heath Margaret Chan, who addressed the group on public health measures to prevent the recurrence of Sars.

Hong Kong is rebounding faster than expected, according to visiting leaders of a global network of 22 Hong Kong Business Associations that, together, have more than 8,400 members.

Thirty-three association leaders from 17 countries were in Hong Kong last week to gauge Hong Kong's recovery for themselves in the aftermath of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).

The meeting was organised by the Trade Development Council (TDC), which provides the secretariat for the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide, as part of the Council's Sars recovery programme.

"Hong Kong is not only rebounding from Sars much faster than expected, it is coming back even more attractive to overseas businesses," said the Federation's Chairman, Mr Christopher Leu, who is from Los Angeles.

"The message we will tell the world is that Hong Kong is recovering well, remains vigilant over public health and is great value for money," said Mr Leu. "Indeed, it now offers additional advantages for companies that want to do business with China."

Mr Leu was referring to opportunities for Hong Kong-based companies and their global partners from the recently-announced Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa) between Hong Kong and the mainland.

"Cepa is certain to expand interest among our members in stepping up their Hong Kong presence or developing new partnerships," said Mr Leu.

"A key theme of our Federation's global meeting in Hong Kong this October will be how to make the most of our special Hong Kong connections in the Cepa era."

During their three-day programme, association leaders were briefed by Director of Health Dr Margaret Chan, Deputy Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology Mr Raymond Young, Director-General of Invest HK Mr Mike Rowse, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce Mr James E Thompson and TDC Executive Director Mr Michael Sze.

They joined TDC's "Fashion Splash" gala presentation at Government House during Hong Kong Fashion Week, Spring/Summer and visited the Hong Kong Science and technology Park and Cyberport. They also made a side trip to Shenzhen to meet with officials from the Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.


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