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Remarks by TDC Chairman Dr. Victor Fung Welcoming U.S. President Clinton at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Remarks by the Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Dr. Victor Fung
Welcoming U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
3 July, 1998

Mr President, First Lady, Secretary Albright, Secretary Daley, Consul General Boucher, Ambassador Sasser, distinguished members of the US Congressional Delegation, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is a great pleasure and privilege for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong to host this event. All of us warmly welcome you and your delegation, Mr President.

The friendship and partnership between American and Hong Kong business is built on a mutual commitment to free trade, open and transparent markets and a level playing-field.

These, and fundamental freedoms upheld by the rule of law, have made Hong Kong a home for more than a thousand American companies using Hong Kong as their base for the Chinese mainland and the Asia-Pacific.

Just one year ago, on this very spot, Hong Kong was proudly reunited with China in a ceremony watched by the world. We are particularly glad you have come to Hong Kong at this time. For you can see us as we continue to be - open, international, strong and forward-looking. And resolute that this bastion of the free market in Asia will emerge even stronger from the region economic crisis.

All of us in Hong Kong are heartened, Mr President, by your initiatives to lift US relations with China to a higher plane and to work together across a broad spectrum.

Hong Kong is a catalyst for engagement between the Chinese mainland and the world. A vast and important trade is conducted here. We are a gateway for two-way flows not just of goods and services but of ideas, understanding and hopes for a better future.

That is why no external relationship matters more to Hong Kong than a close relationship between the United States and China. It touches the lives of everyone here. Early entry by China into the World Trade Organisation would enhance this relationship and bring widespread economic benefit to the region, including Hong Kong.

Mr President, Hong Kong has long been a partner of the United States. Now, as a Special Administrative Region of China, we are in a position to make an even bigger contribution as the United States and China forge a strategic partnership for the 21st century.

Thank you

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