Hong Kong's Advantages Promoted In New Zealand
07 August 2013
Posted by: Author: Mary Swire
Author: Mary Swire (Tax-News.com)
During an official visit to New Zealand, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So has expounded on Hong Kong's advantages in government meetings and in speeches at receptions and seminars.
For example, in Auckland, the Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association organized the Connect Hong Kong seminar, in which Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Invest Hong Kong representatives outlined the city's strengths in attracting investment and developing businesses, while So also addressed the opening reception of the Hong Kong Festival in Wellington.
"Hong Kong provides the shortest and most reliable route for New Zealand companies to do business in the Mainland of China. We are also an effective connector to markets across our region," Mr So told attendees at the business seminar, noting that Hong Kong is the seventh largest market for New Zealand goods exports, and, in the past decade, those exports had increased by 40 percent, to about HKD5.25bn (USD677m) in 2012.
He pointed out that Hong Kong's unique advantages: "a comprehensive network of professional services, unparalleled access to the Mainland market, bilateral trade agreements with trading partners as an individual member of the World Trade Organization, and the position as the world's freest economy" made Hong Kong a showcase for New Zealand brands of goods and services.
In Wellington, So highlighted Hong Kong's appeal "as a free, open and low-tax platform for business." For his hosts, he emphasized that Hong Kong became the first free wine port among major economies by eliminating tariffs on wine in 2008, helping to promote the city as a wine trading and distribution center.
He confirmed that Hong Kong has, in fact, now overtaken New York and London to become the world's largest wine auction market, and that "New Zealand vintages are becoming increasingly popular and familiar to people in Mainland China and across Asia."