H trade office refresh ties in Toronto

Updated: 2015-01-23 05:31

By LI NA in Toronto(China Daily Canada)

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H trade office refresh ties in Toronto

Gloria Lo, the director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Toronto, makes a keynote speech at the Hong Kong Reception held on Tuesday in Toronto. (LI NA CHINA DAILY)

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Toronto (Toronto ETO) held an evening gala called Hong Kong Reception on Jan 20 in Toronto to celebrate the arrival of 2015 and to refresh ties with friends and colleagues.

In her welcoming remarks, Gloria Lo, the director of the Toronto ETO, reviewed the achievements that Hong Kong had gained over the past year.

While assuring that Hong Kong will continue to enjoy its unique advantages under the One Country, Two Systems principle, Lo also told guests that Hong Kong has all along played the role of a reliable partner in the international community.

“The recent establishment of a framework to facilitate the conduct of dispute settlement proceedings administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in Hong Kong, for example, is certainly a vote of international confidence in the city and its sound legal system,” Lo said.

The Host Country Agreement and the related Memorandum of Administrative Arrangements on the Conduct of Dispute Settlement Proceedings by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China were signed in Beijing earlier this month, making Hong Kong a new base for the PCA to enhance access to its services in Asia.

In the past 120 years or so, the PCA has been facilitating arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution amongst states.

Lo also briefed guests on recent developments in building up even closer economic ties between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, including the launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and the signing of an agreement on liberalization of trade in services in Guangdong.

“All these developments are encouraging and the message that Hong Kong has continued to receive the full support of the Central People's Government is clear,” she added.

Lo also gave a concise brief on the initiatives announced in the newly-released 2015 Policy Address, with an emphasis on those concerning land supply for commercial and economic purposes, support for technology start-ups, innovation and technology development, the promotion of the creative and film industries and the development of high value-added maritime services.

Guests were also told about a more proactive approach to recruiting talent and professionals from outside Hong Kong through a pilot program to attract second-generation Chinese Hong Kong emigrants overseas to return to Hong Kong and stay.

“We are confident that all these measures will create more opportunities and further boost our economy,” Lo concluded.

She also gave a brief introduction of part of the Toronto ETO's work plan in the coming months which includes the organization of a Hong Kong-Canada Chinese Theme Song Competition with the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association with the aim of underlining the close relations between Hong Kong and Canada.

The guests were also told that joint Lunar New Year receptions with the Hong Kong Tourism Board would be held in Toronto and Vancouver as well to promote Hong Kong's tourism industry.

“A campaign called 'Think Asia Think Hong Kong' will be organized by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council in Toronto this June and our office will also work closely with the TDC to make it a successful event,” Lo added.

Around 300 guests, among them government officials, representatives from the business community, academia and the media joined the reception.