Well over 200 high-profile guests attended the grand reception held on July 3, 2012 at Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer to China from British colonial rule.
Among the participants were former Prime Minister Han Duk-Soo who is now acting chairman of Korea International Trade Association (KITA), the Chinese Ambassador to Seoul Zhang Xinsen, Vice Speaker Park Byeong-Seug, Ex-Science Minister Chin Dae-Je, Singapore Ambassador Peter Tan Hai Chuan, and and Ex-Lawmaker and ex-Sports Minister Lee Se-Ki. Lee serves as chairman of Korea-China Friendship Association.
The dinner reception was hosted by Principal Representative Sally Wong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) based in Tokyo.
Mr. Lee Hee-Kyung, HKETO’s Seoul representative, Chief Consultant Christopher S. Maeng of Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Seoul, Director Scott Kwon of Hong Kong Tourism Board in Korea helped Ms. Wong to organize the special reception.
Ms. Wong delivered a welcoming speech. Congratulatory addresses were made by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Xinsen, former Prime Minister Han Duk-Soo, and fomer lawmaker Lee Se-Ki, respecrtively.
In the welcoming speech Ms. Wong called for further and continued cooperative ties between Seoul and Hong Kong.
“It has been a successful return on the whole,” she said about the prospering Hong Kong after the transfer of its sovereignty of the British crown colony to China 15 years ago.
She said that she wishes the bilateral relations between Hong Kong and South Korea would further be expanded and developed.
Hong Kong became a British colony with the Treaty of Nanking (or Nanjing) in 1842 as Qing-Dynasty China was defeated by the former British Empire in the First Opium War (1839-1842).
On July 1, 1997 the crown colony was transferred to China as the treaty of 150 years of concession expired and the Beijing government the territory a high degree of autonomy over the next 50 years.
Back in Hong Kong on this special 15th anniversary event, Donald Tsang, the chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said. “We will continue to play to our strengths as a centre for trade, finance, tourism and services while nurturing innovation and creativity as a positive next step toward an even brighter future”
The Chief Executive went further and highlighted basic laws, legal, social, and economic systems as an integral part of the lives of Hong Kong people.
Elsewhere in the world as well as in Hong Kong, events and activities highlighting the city’s progress and display of unique culture are hosted on this festive occasion.
The Chinese Cultural Centre in downtown Toronto, Canada presented “Bauhinia Night” with several performances on May 26, 2012.
A Festival of Hong Kong Films kicked-off in London from July 2, 2012 and will run until July 14, 2012, with the participation of the acclaimed film directors.
Exhibition of selected historical photos and presentation about the history, culture, and the daily lives of Hong Kong residents took place in Los Angeles from on July 2-3, 2012.
Auckland Town Hall in New Zealand hosted a concert by Hong Kong children’s symphony orchestra on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Hong Kong’s transfer.
Diplomatic relations between South Korea and Hong Kong was established in 1949 when South Korea opened its consulate office in Hong Kong. This highlighted regular exchanges of government and business officials of both countries.
As world's 10th major trade power Hong Kong is South Korea’s active partner in the field of government, economy, goods, finance, culture, and education.
Hong Kong is the fourth largest trade partner to South Korea. South Korea enjoys the second largest trade surplus of 28.7 billion US dollars with the island nation.
The bilateral trade volume increased by 57 percent over the last two years, reaching 33.3 billion US dollars
In 2011 a total of 42 million people from all over the world visited Hong Kong with a population of 6 million. Over 1 million South Koreans travelled to the island nation, making it the most-favoured travel destination for the South Koreans.
There are about 500 South Korean business enterprises operating in Hong Kong.
For details or inquiries call the HKETO’s Seoul Office at 6001-3861.
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