At least one South Korean company has sought partnership with a Hong Kong firm to develop information technology in China, Tung Chee-hwa said yesterday. Ending his two-day trip in Seoul, Mr Tung revealed the potential deal when asked about partnership on the information technology front. 'We had not come here specifically to reach any agreements . . . one company made a very specific request to seek a potential partnership with a Hong Kong company so they could develop their IT work more and develop their market potential in mainland China,' he said. He denied the SAR was lagging behind Shenzhen and Guangzhou in information technology development, saying each had its strength and complemented the others. During two-hour talks with President Kim Dae-jung, Mr Tung outlined his vision for Hong Kong and shared the experience of economic recovery. Mr Kim said: 'I sincerely hope that these policies will reap great successes,' referring to Mr Tung's vision of turning Hong Kong into a metropolis on a par with London or New York. Mr Tung also pledged stronger bilateral trade and investment relations with South Korea in the new century. Hong Kong is the fourth-largest export market for South Korea and accounts for one-third of its foreign direct investments. The two leaders also discussed the latest financial situation and China's accession to the World Trade Organisation during their two-hour talks. Mr Kim said direct investment of $3.5 billion from Hong Kong over the past 11 months had aided his country's economic recovery. At a business lunch earlier yesterday, Mr Tung outlined Hong Kong's strength in the light of China's impending accession to the WTO. He said China's trade was expected to double within the next six years, with foreign direct investment surging from $351 billion to $780 billion. 'As China moves ahead, there would be a need for more services in areas such as legal and accounting services and in other areas of professional services, and these areas are Hong Kong's strengths that we can provide,' he said.