17 May 2010
US Commerce Secretary in Hong Kong on Energy Mission
Opportunities for Hong Kong in Clean Energy: Gary Locke
Hong Kong-US Sign Wine MOU
17 May 2010 – Speaking today at a luncheon in Hong Kong, United States Commerce Secretary Gary Locke told an audience of some 500 senior Hong Kong business and government leaders that “China and the United States can lead a second industrial revolution, where cleaner and more efficient technologies power the world’s factories, cars and homes in the 21st century.”
In Hong Kong on the first leg of a clean-energy business development mission – the Obama administration’s first cabinet-level trade mission – Mr Locke called the global energy issue “the defining challenge of our time.” In meeting that challenge, he said that Hong Kong, “with its open business environment and strong legal tradition,” could play a critical role in intellectual property protection. He also noted that many US companies already take advantage of “Hong Kong companies’ expertise and experience on the mainland, to enter that dynamic market.” Mr Locke concluded by saying that, “while the United States and China will not always agree on everything, our economies and our environments are inextricably linked, and we have to strive to solve our problems through dialogue and engagement.”
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Executive Director Fred Lam, who introduced Mr Locke at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) luncheon, saw opportunity in the Locke visit. “I have no doubt that the US mission with us today will help boost trade between Hong Kong and the US and between the US and the Chinese mainland. Mr Lam added that Mr Locke “has a history of success,” noting that the Secretary of Commerce is the “first Chinese-American to hold this post in a President’s cabinet” and, as a two-term Governor of Washington, was “the first Chinese-American state governor in the history of the United States.”
Prior to the luncheon, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in Wine-related Businesses with Mr Locke. “Riding on this MOU, we will strengthen our joint efforts on promoting wine-related trading, tourism, investment and education,” said Ms Lau. Wine imports from the US amounted to US$49 million in 2009-2010, a five-fold increase since Hong Kong removed duties on wine in February 2008.
Mr Locke’s Asian mission will continue with stops in Shanghai, Beijing and Jakarta. The clean-energy mission builds on President Barack Obama’s recent National Export Initiative, aimed at doubling US exports in the next five years. The Commerce Secretary’s mission includes executives from 24 American companies. They are seeking export opportunities for their technology related to clean energy, energy efficiency, and electric energy storage, transmission and distribution.
Today’s luncheon was organised by the HKTDC and the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Video from the event will be available this evening on the HKTDC’s webcast service www.YouTube.com/HKTDC or can be downloaded from www.thenewsmarket.com/HKTDC.
Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department:
Tel: (852) 2584 4216
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.