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Wednesday, 22 November 2017, 12:30 HKT/SGT
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Source: HKTDC
HKTDC Opens Seoul Office
Korean Firms Urged to Seize Opportunities through Hong Kong

HONG KONG, Nov 22, 2017 - (ACN Newswire) - Trade and business ties between Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea are set to strengthen with the official launch yesterday (21 November) of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's (HKTDC) office in Seoul. The HKTDC has been operating a consultant office in the Korean capital since 1990. The upgraded presence will further boost Hong Kong's trade and business promotion in Korea.

With a full-fledged HKTDC office in Seoul, run by staff from both Hong Kong and Korea, the HKTDC will provide more comprehensive services to connect companies from both places and help them capture new opportunities.

- Opportunities through Hong Kong

"Hong Kong and Korea share a long and close partnership," said Margaret Fong, HKTDC Executive Director during a cocktail reception at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul to mark the occasion. "New opportunities have emerged with the Belt and Road Initiative, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area development plan, and Hong Kong's recently signed Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] - three more good reasons for Korean companies to expand their business in Hong Kong."

China's Belt and Road Initiative, launched in 2013 and fashioned on the ancient Silk Road trade routes, aims to reinforce infrastructural and financial links from Asia to Europe. Among the key financing bodies for Belt and Road projects is the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, of which Korea is a founding member and the fifth-largest shareholder.

China's Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development plan covers nine Chinese mainland cities in Guangdong Province, together with Hong Kong and Macau. It aims to combine each city's expertise to create a global innovation hub, tapping the cities' abundance of hi-tech talent and competitive business environment. The plan opens more partnership opportunities for Korean companies, many of which are leaders in the technology sector.

With its extensive international connections and world-class services, Hong Kong is a key link connecting global businesses to opportunities on the Belt and Road and in the Bay Area.

Hong Kong and ASEAN signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a related investment agreement on 12 November, further strengthening the city's business ties with ASEAN markets. "We welcome more Korean firms to use Hong Kong as a base to unlock the massive business opportunities that the Belt and Road Initiative and the Bay Area bring," said Ms Fong. "With the signing of the Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement earlier this month, Hong Kong can offer an additional platform for Korean companies to tap the ASEAN markets."

- Strengthened cooperation

More than 280 government officials and business leaders from Korea and China attended the reception, including Kim Youngsam, Deputy Minister for Trade and Investment, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea; and Gu Jinsheng, Minister-Counsellor, Economic & Commercial Counsellor's Office, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Korea.

The Seoul Office is among more than 40 HKTDC offices globally that help promote Hong Kong's role as a platform for doing business with the Chinese mainland, Asia and the world.

Last Wednesday (15 November), the HKTDC and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote economic cooperation and trade between Hong Kong and Korea.

- Strong business ties

Korea is Hong Kong's sixth-largest trading partner and fifth-largest source of imports. In the first nine months of 2017, bilateral trade surged 26 per cent year-on-year to US$28.2 billion, while Hong Kong imports from Korea grew 32.3 per cent to US$22.9 billion. During the same period, the city's total exports to the country rose 4.5 per cent to US$5.3 billion, making Korea Hong Kong's 10th-largest export market. Major imports and exports between the two economies include semiconductors, electronic valves and tubes, as well as telecom equipment and parts.

About 1,700 Korean companies are operating in Hong Kong, according to the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong. Korea's cumulative foreign direct investment in Hong Kong amounted to US$3.3 billion at end-2015. Korean companies in Hong Kong are involved in financial services, logistics, transportation and cosmetics, among other sectors.

Hong Kong and Korea signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement in 1997, and a Comprehensive Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement in 2014.

In the last financial year ending March 2017, more than 16,000 buyers and over 840 exhibitors from Korea took part in HKTDC product and services fairs.

Photo Download: http://bit.ly/2zWZ8WZ

(Photo:) (From L to R) Yun Wonsok, Vice President, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency; Lee Jaechool, Senior Executive Managing Director, Korea International Trade Association; Kim Youngsam, Deputy Minister for Trade and Investment, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea; Margaret Fong, Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC); Gu Jinsheng, Minister-Counsellor, Economic & Commercial Counsellor's Office, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Korea; and Benjamin Yau, Director of Korea, HKTDC, raise a toast at the Opening Reception of the HKTDC Office in Seoul, Korea.


About HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. Please visit www.hktdc.com/aboutus or follow us on Google+, Twitter@hktdc, LinkedIn.

Contact:
HKTDC
Corporate Communication Department
Carrie Lee
Tel: +852 2584 4238
Email: carrie.kl.lee@hktdc.org


Nov 22, 2017 12:30 HKT/SGT
Source: HKTDC

Topic: Establishment of New Branch
Sectors: Daily News, Local
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