SCED's speech at networking dinner of Lifestyle Expo in Jakarta 2013
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the networking dinner of the Lifestyle Expo in Jakarta 2013 today (March 14):
Deputy Executive Director Margaret (Fong), Consul General (Hari Budiarto), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Selamat Sore (meaning "good evening" in Indonesian).
It's a pleasure to join you for this networking dinner.
I hope that you have all enjoyed a very fruitful first day of the Lifestyle Expo. Also, congratulations to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council for organising this event.
Hong Kong and Indonesia enjoy very different lifestyles, but we all share the same appreciation for quality products that enhance our enjoyment of life.
Following the success of last year's Lifestyle Expo, it is very encouraging that more Hong Kong manufacturers and traders are attending this year's event. We are also delighted to see growing numbers of Indonesian importers and retailers here this year.
Judging from the intensity of the business matching activities this morning, it is clear that this Expo has got off to a great start. By the time it ends on Saturday, I hope that all visitors have had a very positive experience.
Hong Kong is very keen to strengthen its business links with Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the region.
In many important ways, the strengths of Hong Kong and Indonesia complement each other. Indonesia has a large population and is rich in natural resources. This country has a strong trading tradition and a growing middle-class.
On the other hand, Hong Kong is a relatively small city with few natural resources of its own. We have developed into an international financial centre and premier gateway to Mainland China for international trade and investment. We have world-class financial, professional and business service industries and strong international connections.
Hong Kong and Indonesia offer each other access to vast new markets in our region. There is ample opportunity for stronger co-operation between our two economies for our mutual benefit.
Hong Kong is committed to collaborating with our ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) neighbours, in particular Indonesia, to enhance economic co-operation and promote common prosperity.
Strategically located at the centre of East Asia and as a gateway to China, Hong Kong plays an important role in facilitating trade and investment in the region. In particular, Hong Kong could facilitate more investments from Mainland China to ASEAN with our unique role in the "go global" policy for Mainland enterprises. Increased trade and investment flows would also create more jobs, more business opportunities and contribute to the economic development of ASEAN member states, including Indonesia.
We very much welcome Indonesian companies to make good use of Hong Kong as an effective and efficient platform to reach markets in Mainland China and around the world.
This year is an important time for Indonesia on the world economic stage. Not only will Indonesia host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), it will also host the ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the spectacular island of Bali in December.
Under the principle of "One Country, Two Systems", Hong Kong is an individual member of both the APEC and the WTO. Hong Kong looks forward to playing a full role in these important events and we are pleased to render our full support to Indonesia in successfully staging these events.
I for one look forward to the opportunity of returning to Indonesia later in the year to attend meetings of the APEC and the WTO.
In the meantime, I would like to wish you all a very enjoyable networking dinner. Contacts made here, at this Lifestyle Expo, will undoubtedly help to open new doors to more business and closer friendship between Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Please join me in a toast to the Lifestyle Expo.
Thursday, March 14, 2013