HK tie to promote cooperation between China and Australia: HK Chief Executive

10:58, June 18, 2011      

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Donald Tsang (L), the chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, meets with Ted Baillieu, the Premier of Australia's Victoria state in Melbourne, Australia, June 17, 2011. (Xinhua)

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang said Friday that Hong Kong is the tie to promote economic, financial, innovative and educational cooperation between China and Australia.

Economic and trade cooperation between Hong Kong and Australia continued to grow in recent years, and the two sides are expected to continue to maintain this momentum in the future, Tsang said in a speech in Melbourne.

He said there are more than 600 Australian companies operating in Hong Kong. Bilateral trade between Hong Kong and Australia has been growing at an average annual rate of 4.7 percent over the last five years. The total value of this trade exceeded eight billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

Last year, some 4.5 billion U.S. dollars worth of trade between Australia and mainland China was routed through Hong Kong. That represents 4.4 percent of total trade between the two nations.

Tsang said Hong Kong is the world's financial, asset management and capital raising center, and Hong Kong companies provide substantial financing opportunities for Australian companies, especially for the mining industry, to maintain a stable capital supply.

"More importantly, a number of Australian mining services companies have established operations in our city. They cover areas such as engineering, valuation, education and mining finance, " he told reporters in Melbourne in a business lunch on Friday.

"Their presence is linked to the opportunities arising from ongoing developments in the mainland's mining industry. Australian companies can leverage their expertise and knowledge to capitalize on these opportunities using Hong Kong as a familiar and low tax business platform."

Tsang said these opportunities not only cover business and finance, but also innovation, arts and education.

He said Hong Kong has a competitive edge in Asia Pacific region in creative industries, including film, design, architecture, advertising, animation and comics and digital entertainment.

"Our creative industries contribute added value of about eight billion U.S. dollars to our economy annually," he said.

"Hong Kong is connected to Asia, and is an important connecting link between East and West."

Tsang said he looks forward to stronger links between Australia and Hong Kong that will benefit both of the economies; help the pair's entrepreneurs seek their fortunes; and bring the communities closer together.

After his speech, Tsang told Xinhua that "the most important task of the visit to Australia is to introduce Hong Kong to Australia and to update social, economic and political conditions. "

He said Hong Kong serves a very important role during the time of rapid development of mainland China.

He also noted that there is a lot of room for Hong Kong to development further cooperation with Australia.

Tsang arrived in Australia Thursday for a seven-day visit.

On Friday morning, Tsang met with state Victoria Primer, Ted Baillieu and exchanged views on topics such as economic and educational cooperation.

During his trip in Australia, Tsang will also travel to Perth, Sydney and Canberra, where he will visit the Australian Federal Parliament and meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Source: Xinhua

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