San Francisco ETO celebrates the Year of the Dragon in Los Angeles
In celebrating the Year of the Dragon, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco hosted a series of receptions in various cities in the western United States. At the Spring Reception in Los Angeles on February 1, 2012, some 150 guests attended.
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Jeff Leung, Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco, said that Hong Kong is the 6th biggest export destination of California. For the first nine months of 2011, more than US$5.64 billion of merchandise was exported from California to Hong Kong.
On wine business, for the first eleven months of 2011, total wine imports into Hong Kong stood at US$1.1 billion. “We are delighted to see that our partnership with U.S. in wine promotion has strengthened. U.S. is now our third largest source of wine imports into Hong Kong. Wine imports from U.S. amounted to US$69 million by value for the first eleven months of 2011. This represents a growth of 65% as compared with the same period last year,” said Mr. Leung.
He said that last December, Hong Kong welcomed her 40- millionth visitor in 2011. Of the 41.9 million visitations, more than 1.2 million were from the U.S. “Among the U.S. visitation to Hong Kong, California accounted for approximately 27%,” said Mr. Leung.
Also addressing the guests, the Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Donald Tong said, “the Year of the Dragon also marks a significant milestone for Hong Kong as we commemorate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
“Thanks to the successful implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle as guaranteed under the Basic Law, we have been able to sustain and bolster Hong Kong’s vibrancy and economic growth after the changeover in 1997.”
Hong Kong plays a key role in the Mainland China’s development. “This bridging function was acknowledged in China’s National 12th Five-Year Plan. It supports and enhances Hong Kong’s position as China’s global financial center and international trade and shipping center. It also boosts our role as an offshore Renminbi (RMB) business center and an international asset management center,” he continued.
In 2011, there were 87 RMB bond issuances in Hong Kong with a total value of over US$16 billion, about three times the value of such issuances in 2010. RMB deposits in Hong Kong doubled in 2011 to nearly US$100 billion. Total RMB trade settlement handled by banks in Hong Kong exceeded US$250 billion last year, amounting to 83 percent of RMB trade settlement globally.
On U.S. – Hong Kong trade ties, Mr. Tong said that U.S. is Hong Kong’s second largest trading partner, following China. The U.S. exported over US$26 billion worth of goods to Hong Kong in 2010 – making Hong Kong the 12th largest export destination for the U.S. ‘American exports to Hong Kong grew even faster in 2011, exceeding US$33 billion in the first 11 months,” said Mr. Tong.