22 April 2012

Hong Kong Chief Executive addresses Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

"The relationship between China and Latin America and the Caribbean is mature enough to think about enhancing quality," stated today Antonio Prado, Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC, when welcoming the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) Donald Tsang, who delivered a keynote speech at the organization's headquarters.

Antonio Prado, Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC, welcomes the Chief
 Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's 
Republic of China, Donald Tsang, during his visit to ECLAC headquarters
 in Santiago, Chile. Photo: Carlos Vera/ECLAC

Tsang gave a speech entitled "Hong Kong's role in China's development", which was attended by authorities, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in the country, the academia, international organizations officials and civil society representatives. 

"The countries of the region urgently need to develop new linkages to strengthen innovation, productivity, competitiveness, diversification of the productive and export base, a more qualified workforce, and a less unequal income distribution," said Prado when welcoming the Chinese high-level official. 

"I am convinced that HKSAR can, and should, be an active partner of the region in this endeavor," added Prado. 

Donald Tsang mentioned that, like ECLAC and its Member States, Hong Kong is a firm believer in multi-lateral dialogue, networking and sharing knowledge. "As one of the most free, open and globally connected economies in the world, we in Hong Kong readily support initiatives that expand opportunities for economic as well as cultural co-operation," he said. 

According to ECLAC, China will take over the European Union as Latin America and the Caribbean's second most important trade partner in a few years. The robust Chinese demand for commodities has benefited the countries of the region exporting such goods, allowing them to improve their terms of exchange and stimulating their growth. 

Likewise, Hong Kong's exports and imports to and from Latin America and the Caribbean amount to nearly 6 and 5 US dollars billions, respectively, which has made this territory a key actor for re-exports on to continental China, which represent half of the total commercial exchange. 

The Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC specified that the great progress shown by Hong Kong in the last years makes it an excellent candidate for mutual cooperation between this territory and the countries of the region. Some of the areas for cooperation are trade and services - including tourism; science and technology - including nanotechnology and advanced materials; education; small and medium-sized enterprises; information and communication technologies; and supply chain logistics and management. 

"This is the time to identify, in a cohesive manner, the region's priorities with respect to its relationship with China and come up with ideas on how HKSAR can contribute to achieving this goal," concluded Prado.

Read Spanish text here.