Philip Bowring's article ("Limits of Chinese parochialism", June 16) questioned the value of the chief executive's trip to New York last week.
We do not agree that the chief executive "carries no weight and saw no one of significance" and that "time and effort would have been far better spent building Hong Kong's relations with its neighbours".
Hong Kong has strong economic ties with the US, which is our second-largest trading partner, after the mainland.
Last year, the total value of our bilateral trade reached almost HK$543 billion. The US is also our second-largest export market and fifth-largest source of imports.
It was therefore important for the chief executive to embark on this trip to promote trade and maintain a strong economic partnership with the US business community. Hong Kong businesses recognised the importance of this visit. Hence, over 200 leading businessmen joined the delegation, including around 40 from Guangdong.
Contrary to Bowring's suggestion, during this trip the chief executive met different political leaders, financial heavyweights and top-level international business leaders, including the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg; the co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and former secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William Dudley; the chief executive officer of the New York Stock Exchange, Duncan Niederauer; Rupert Murdoch from the media sector; Jerry Speyer from the real estate sector; and the top management of some global investment banks.
The chief executive was also the guest of honour at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's trade promotion events, which more than 1,000 people attended. Such huge attendance demonstrates that the US business community attaches great importance to Hong Kong.
Nick Au Yeung, assistant director (media), Chief Executive's Office