Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Hong Kong looks forward to stronger ties with Việt Nam, its chief secretary for administration, Carrie Lam, has said.
Speaking at a luncheon meeting on “Opportunities for Hong Kong and Việt Nam under ASEAN Regional Co-operation” in HCM City yesterday, she said Việt Nam is Hong Kong’s third largest trading partner in ASEAN.
Bilateral trade topped US$16 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 16.7 per cent. Hong Kong is Việt Nam’s 10th largest trading partner, while the latter is the island’s ninth largest partner.
It was Việt Nam’s sixth largest source of FDI in the first fours month of this year, valued at around $196 million, she said.
The conclusion of free trade agreement talks between ASEAN and Hong Kong, scheduled this year, would promote economic and trade ties, including with Việt Nam, she said.
In his welcome speech, Jonathan Choi, permanent honorary president of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, and chairman of the Hong Kong-based Sunwah Group, said the East Asian economies were entering a new stage of regional co-operation and integration. “I believe that there is a great deal of potential for Hong Kong and Việt Nam to work closer together to make strategic contributions in regional collaboration.
“As a major international financial centre, Hong Kong is an ideal place to provide adequate infrastructure financing for Việt Nam and other ASEAN markets.
"Việt Nam’s low-cost labour and investment incentives can attract foreign investments across a wide range of sectors," he said.
"Both Hong Kong and Việt Nam can act as a bridge and facilitator for companies from Việt Nam, Hong Kong and mainland China in attracting investments as well as grasping the huge opportunities in the region," he said.
Lam spoke about Hong Kong’s competitiveness and strengths.
Thanks to its rule of law, business-friendly environment and connectivity with the globe as well as the mainland, it is a preferred location for global businesses, according to Lam.
It is seeking to strengthen its leading position in traditional industries like trading and logistics, financial services, professional services and tourism, while developing new economic sectors such as creative industries and innovation and technology.
On the conclusion of the ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA, Hong Kong will enhance its “super-connector” role between mainland China and the ASEAN Economic Community.
Lam encouraged more Vietnamese firms to use Hong Kong as a gateway to enter the Chinese market and other regional and global markets.
Co-organised by the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (CGCC) and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore, the luncheon attracted over 300 participants, including CGCC committee members, government officials, and business leaders from ASEAN, mainland China and Hong Kong.
The annual event aims to explore further opportunities and future development between Hong Kong and ASEAN.
It was held in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in 2014 and 2015.
Meets city leader
At a meeting with her yesterday, HCM City chairman Nguyễn Thành Phong said the city always sought to strengthen ties with foreign partners, including Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has invested more than $3 billion in the city in 349 projects.
The city was making tremendous efforts to become one of Southeast Asia’s financial, trading and service hubs by 2020, he said, hoping investors from Hong Kong, a global financial hub, would be interested. — VNS