The Hong Kong Trade and Economic Office celebrated the start of the Year of the Rabbit with the big news that Hong Kong has reopened its doors after three years of COVID-19 restrictions. Along with their co-organizers, HK Invest and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council held a reception ceremony for Cebuano industry leaders and executives at the Radisson Blu last February 17, 2023.
The Chinese New Year reception was not just a mere celebration of the new year, but a celebration of resilience and hope for what’s to come in the coming years. The reception was well attended by members of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCCI), Cebu-Mandaue Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce Cebu, Philippine Cebu Traders Association, and Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Hong Kong is one of the most important centers of international finance, trade, and commerce in Asia, and is often described as a gateway to China. Historically, Hong Kong’s economy has been built on its favorable location, with access to major shipping routes and a strategic position as a gateway to China. Despite challenges brought upon COVID-19 in the past few years, Hong Kong’s economy remains resilient and is expected to recover in the coming years. During the reception ceremony, the Hong Kong Trade and Economic Office and its partner, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, announced measures to support businesses and households, and said that efforts are underway to diversify the economy and strengthen ties with other markets in Asia.
2023 is the Year of the Rabbit
There are so many things to look forward to in the Year of the Rabbit since 2023 is predicted to be an abundant and prosperous year. According to Allen Pang, Deputy Director of the Hong Kong Trade and Economic Office (HKTEC), Hong Kong has fully opened in January to anyone and anywhere in the world, and that it’s high time to unleash the potential of Asia’s World City, Hong Kong. The HKTECs are the trade offices of Hong Kong outside its territory.
Pang also shared how Hong Kong is well-equipped to serve Cebu in different aspects such as aviation, real estate development, infrastructure, transport, logistics, education, and tourism. For example, Hong Kong is home to the world’s finest universities. According to Pang, there are scholarships available for outstanding Filipino students so they too can experience Hong Kong’s quality of education.
Vivienne Chee, Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Director for Singapore, encouraged Cebuano entrepreneurs to participate in the exhibits and events they’ve organized to create opportunities for collaboration and connection towards their goal of economic growth. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub.
“Hong Kong is now seamlessly connected to the mainland of China and the whole international world and there will be no isolation, no quarantine,” said chief executive John Lee during the reception ceremony. “This is the perfect timing for tourists, business travelers, and investors from near and far to come and say, ‘Hello, Hong Kong.’”
Cebu, Hong Kong’s partner in economic growth
“Hong Kong and our city share a common commitment to economic growth, international trade, and innovation. And we are proud to work together to promote these values,” said Councilor Immaline Cortes-Zafra who attended the reception ceremony on behalf of the Mandaue City government. Zafra also expressed gratitude to HKTEC, InvestHK, and HKTDC for traveling all the way here to solidify and invest in their relationship with Cebu.
Among those present during the ceremony was Atty. Kaye Yap, spokesperson of the Office of the Presidential Assistant of the Visayas. Yap congratulated Hong Kong for welcoming the world to their city and shared that she was also looking forward to where the collaboration between Cebu and Hong Kong will take them.