Published: 14:59, May 26, 2024
Chan: France deeply interested in closer ties with HKSAR
By Liu Yifan
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po (center) visits VivaTech 2024, a landmark European startup companies gathering, in Paris, France, May 24, 2024. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said on Sunday that France is “deeply interested” and confident in the latest developments in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Chan began a visit to Paris last week to deepen business collaboration and cultural exchanges. “Whether it was during the economic and trade exchanges or other meetings, I reiterated to French political, business and financial leaders the unique advantages of Hong Kong,” he wrote in his weekly blog, citing “one country, two systems”, the rule of law, a simple tax regime and alignment international best practices.

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He said representatives he has met in France recognize that despite the complex geopolitical landscape, as long as Hong Kong continues to leverage its distinct strengths and grasp its positioning accurately, opportunities still abound.

“Some French friends have even shared with me that during their visits to Hong Kong after the pandemic, they found the city to be just as vibrant and captivating as before -- it remains dynamic, secure, and efficiently operated, garnering a perpetual fondness for Hong Kong,” the finance chief said.

Chan is scheduled to begin a four-day trip to the United States on Monday. The itinerary includes visits to San Francisco and Berkeley in California

Chan visited Europe’s landmark startup gathering VivaTech in Paris, in which the Hong Kong Trade Development Council has established a dedicated exhibition area for the first time, featuring 14 local startups.

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He said the special administrative region plans to expand its participation in VivaTech next year and invited the organizers to hold exhibitions in the SAR.

Chan also extended an invitation to the Theatre National de Chaillot, a prominent concert venue in Paris, to participate in the French May Arts Festival in Hong Kong next year. “Some participants told us it’s significant the HKSAR government is actively engaging with friends from different sectors,” he said.

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“Through direct questioning and in-depth exchanges, not only have they gained more comprehensive information about Hong Kong and a better understanding of the new developments at this stage, it also helps to clarify misconceptions and dispel misunderstandings,” he added.

Chan is scheduled to begin a four-day trip to the United States on Monday. The itinerary includes visits to San Francisco and Berkeley in California.