15 Nov 2012
Redoubling Cooperation at Hong Kong Dinner in London
UK Trade Minister Lord Green Says Best Opportunities “Yet to Come”
15 November 2012 – Great Britain and Hong Kong have a historic opportunity to develop bilateral trade, according to Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint in his speech last night at the annual Hong Kong Dinner in London.
“It’s true about the UK-Hong Kong relationship: it goes back a long way, it’s very broad, it’s very deep, but – to use a quotation from President Obama – I do believe the best is yet to come,” said Lord Green, the UK Minister of State for Trade & Investment.
“The opportunities are enormous across the scale of British economic activity,” he said. “I almost cannot think of a single British company that ought not to be looking at the Hong Kong opportunity. The number of enquiries from British companies looking at Hong Kong is at historically high levels at the moment. This is partly due to the enormously successful Think Asia, Think Hong Kong event,” he said, referring to the September 2011 promotion organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
Celebrating its 29th anniversary under the theme “Redoubling Cooperation,” the dinner was hosted by HKTDC Chairman Jack So. Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam delivered a keynote address outlining plans for Hong Kong’s economic development.
Prior to the dinner, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne addressed guests at a cocktail reception, where he said that the rise of the Asian economies will bring prosperity to millions of people around the world.
“Of course, this will bring challenges for Western economies, as we adjust to shifts in economic growth and power,” said Mr Osborne. “But I see globalisation not as a threat, but as an opportunity for the UK. By working together, the East and West can build a more balanced and sustainable global economy, bringing greater prosperity to all our citizens. As two of the world’s most open economies, let us in Britain and Hong Kong show how it can be done.”
Mr Osborne also said the best illustration of mutually beneficial cooperation could be found in the January launch of the Hong Kong-London Forum, designed to promote cooperation in the development of the international renminbi business.
“As two of the world’s leading financial centres, Hong Kong and London are natural partners in this endeavour with London adding new corporate users of the renminbi, new investors and intermediaries, and an extended time zone to Hong Kong’s offer,” he said. The renminbi Forum first met in May 2012, and a second meeting is set to take place in London next month.
The Hong Kong Dinner in London also welcomed more than 350 business leaders and senior government officials from the UK and Hong Kong.
Guests included Andrew Beeson, Chairman of Schroders plc; Sir David Brewer, Chairman of the China-Britain Business Council; Dr Raymond Ch’ien, Chairman of the MTR Corporation; Lord Clement-Jones of Clapham, London Managing Partner, DLA Piper UK LLP; Minister Counsellor Cong Peiwu, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China; Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair, British Council; Lord Howe of Aberavon, President, Great Britain-China Centre; Sir Henry Keswick, Chairman, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd; Lady Keswick, Deputy Chairman, Centre for Policy Studies; Lord Paul of Marylebone, Chairman, Caparo Group plc; Lord Powell of Bayswater, Co-Chairman, Asia Task Force; Sir Adrian Swire, Honourary President, John Swire & Sons Ltd; Caroline Wilson, British Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macao; and Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, Honourary President of the Hong Kong Association.
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About the HKTDC
A statutory body 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 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com