There has never been a better time to unlock the full potential of Britain’s relationship with Hong Kong, guests at the Hong Kong Dinner in London were told tonight (27 September 2018).
UK guest of honour Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General, said that that he looked forward to strengthening the bonds between the UK and Hong Kong for years to come.
“As we prepare to face the world as Global Britain, eager to embrace the opportunities this country voted to explore, we are looking beyond Europe, we are looking East.”
Mr Stride said that Britain and Hong Kong are filled with a sense of determination, of adventure, and an unwavering commitment to cross-border trade.
“These are qualities that will allow the UK and Hong Kong to survive the turbulence of the 21st century and grasp the opportunities it undoubtedly presents.
“And, as the UK faces a time of unprecedented change in her history, we are looking to our international partners, especially to those with which we have deep historic ties,” he said.
The UK Financial Secretary paid tribute to “One Country, Two Systems” in the twenty years since the establishment of Hong Kong SAR.
“More than ever Hong Kong has been characterised by strength and prosperity. Today it stands as one of the most thriving and energetic cities in the world - like London, a global, financial powerhouse –and the gateway to China”.
The Hong Kong guest of honour at the dinner was Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.
The dinner was hosted by Hong Kong Trade Development Council Chairman Mr Vincent Lo. In his welcoming remarks Mr Lo said the dinner celebrates the special bond between the UK and Hong Kong.
“This bond is built on trust and openness, on shared values and shared goals, driven by a strong spirit of enterprise. I believe the secret to our thriving relationship is a forward-looking mindset and a pragmatic and collaborative approach to problems. These have served us well in the past.
“As we look at the challenges today, it is more important than ever to work together, because today’s issues such as Brexit, trade barriers, climate change – these are deep-seated issues that need the world to work together.”
Mr Lo highlighted the Belt and Road initiative as “a blueprint for future global cooperation” where the UK and Hong Kong could play a vital role as commercial and professional hubs.
The annual dinner, now in its 35th year, was attended by around 400 business leaders and senior government officials from the UK and Hong Kong.
Guests included Mr Ulf Brettschneider, Executive Director, LF Europe; Mr Graham Cartledge, CBE, Chairman, Benoy; Mr Michael Charlton, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, Department for International Trade; Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, KCMG, Group Head of Public Affairs, HSBC Holdings; Baroness Dunn, DBE, Honorary President, Hong Kong Association; Sir Douglas Flint, CBE, Special Envoy for the Belt and Road Initiative HM Treasury; Mr Keith Howells, Chairman, Mott MacDonald; Mr Adam Keswick, Chairman, Matheson & Co; The Rt Hon Lord Paul of Marylebone, Chairman, Caparo Group Ltd; Mrs. Loletta Lo; The Lord Powell of Bayswater, KCMG, Director, Matheson & Co Ltd; Mr Christian Salbaing, Deputy Chairman, Hutchison Whampoa (Europe) Ltd; Mr Barnaby Swire, Chairman, Swire Group; Lord David Wilson of Tillyorn, KT, GCMG, Former Governor of Hong Kong; and Lady Wilson.