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US Foreign Commercial Service and HKTDC Sign Trade Promotion Deal
Pacific Bridge Initiative Encourages US Companies to Work with Hong Kong

  United States Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion Suresh Kumar (right) presents a Certificate of Appreciation to HKTDC Executive Director Fred Lam in recognition of the critical role the HKTDC has agreed to play in promoting US exports in Asia

“The U.S. National Export Initiative, Hong Kong Pacific Bridge Initiative Statement of Intent” was signed today by Mr Kumar (right) and Mr Lam (left). The agreement is a response to the US National Export Initiative introduced earlier this year by US President Barack Obama to double American exports over the next five years, while supporting employment in the US

  Speaking today at an American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong luncheon, Mr Kumar said: “To continue to move the US economy forward, US small businesses must innovate, create jobs and expand their global reach to new markets. Hong Kong can be the gateway to some of these markets with its efficient networks, comprehensive and well-endowed service sector, and superior IP protections”
15 November 2010 – The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the United States Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) signed a statement of intent today to cooperate on trade promotion. The agreement, “The U.S. National Export Initiative, Hong Kong Pacific Bridge Initiative Statement of Intent,” was signed by Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion Suresh Kumar and HKTDC Executive Director Fred Lam. 

The PBI is a programme created to encourage US companies to focus on opportunities in Hong Kong and to use the Hong Kong platform to tap the growing Asian market, particularly the Chinese mainland. 

The PBI is a response to the US National Export Initiative (NEI), introduced earlier this year by US President Barack Obama to double American exports over the next five years, while supporting employment in the US. 

Hong Kong Advantage
Through the Statement of Intent, the HKTDC and the USFCS will work to raise awareness among American businesses about the benefits of Hong Kong in reaching markets on the Chinese mainland and across Asia. The agreement is expected to generate new business for companies in both the US and Hong Kong. 

The US is already one of Hong Kong’s most important trading partners – second-largest in terms of total trade and the city’s fifth-largest source of imports. 

“This initiative represents a virtual Pacific Bridge, one that provides substantive collaboration to better connect the US to opportunities emerging in Asia and the mainland,” said the HKTDC’s Mr Lam. “Hong Kong is well positioned to help US companies looking to increase exports to this region. Hong Kong companies can also benefit by using the competitive advantages of US companies in various fields to explore more opportunities in this vast regional market,” he added. 

Mutual Benefits
“HKTDC’s recognition of the mutual economic benefits to Hong Kong and the US inherent in expanding US exports and furthering the NEI speaks eloquently about Hong Kong’s unique role as one of the world’s pre-eminent trade and investment hubs,” said Andrew Wylegala, Chief Commercial Consul of the US Consulate General in Hong Kong. “That the HKTDC is the first foreign statutory body to formally propose such an agreement and recognise the value of the NEI, not only to US economic development but also to the solidification of Hong Kong’s special role as a regional commercial hub, reflects the HKTDC’s pro-active approach to strategically positioning the SAR and shows why the HKTDC is recognised as one of the most effective trade promotion organisations in the world.”

Eco Expo Asia Cooperation
The first event to capitalise on the PBI was last week’s Eco Expo Asia, the region’s major fair for the environmental protection industry. The 3-6 November fair, held at AsiaWorld-Expo, featured the US as Partner Country, with more than 30 companies in the US pavilion. The HKTDC also arranged a trip to Shenzhen for US and Hong Kong companies to study the city’s environmental market and meet industry and government officials. The expo welcomed representatives from the mainland cities of Foshan, Guangdong, Jiangmen, Kunming and Shenzhen.

In March 2011, the USFCS and the HKTDC will organise the first pavilion for American independent film and television companies at the HKTDC Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART). The pavilion will have coordination support from the Independent Film & Television Alliance and will target the Asian market.

Specific Initiatives
Under the new agreement, the HKTDC and the USFCS will collaborate closely with various US multipliers to carry out an extensive range of activities, including: 

  • Roadshows in the US promoting Hong Kong and the PBI. Seminars in Hong Kong will be organised to educate local companies of the opportunities. 
  • A dedicated website, www.hktdc.com/pacificbridge, will be created, featuring news, events and intelligence related to the US-Hong Kong partnership and business opportunities in Asia. 
  • Inbound and outbound business missions will be arranged to help Hong Kong and US companies explore opportunities and partnerships. Missions bringing US companies to the Chinese mainland through Hong Kong will also be organised. 
  • The HKTDC will encourage US companies to take part in Hong Kong trade fairs. To step up promotion, the HKTDC will introduce the US as the partner country at select fairs. The HKTDC will also tale advantage of the US Commercial Service’s Certified Trade Fair programme to promote Hong Kong trade shows. 
  • The HKTDC will expand business matching between Hong Kong and US companies seeking partnership.  

Priority Sectors
All industries are covered by the new agreement. The following, however, are priority sectors:

(1)         Renewable energy, environmental, water resources
(2)         Healthcare, medical and biotechnology
(3)         Value-added food products, including wine and spirits
(4)         Information and communication technologies
(5)         Financial services
(6)         Creative and entertainment industries
(7)         Education and training services
(8)         Testing/certification services
(9)         Licensing and professional/business services 

An exclusive interview with Mr Kumar is available on the HKTDC's webcast service, at http://www.hktdc.com/info/webcast/v/en/en/1X04ARZS and at www.youtube.com/hktdc


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

Joe Kainz
Tel: (852) 2584 4216
Email: joe.kainz@hktdc.org

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 

Follow hktdc on Twitter Follow us on Twitter @HKTDC

About the USFCS
The US Foreign Commercial Service, an arm of the US Department of Commerce, is the US Government’s international trade promotion agency charged with the responsibilities of promoting the exports of goods and services from the US and protecting US business interests abroad. The US Foreign Commercial Service in Hong Kong helps US companies leverage Hong Kong’s unique business environment to succeed in the core markets of Hong Kong and Macau, as well as the Pearl River Delta and select markets throughout China and the Asia-Pacific region. For more information, please visit www.buyusa.gov/hongkong.


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