ON this Canada National Day, I would like to join with members of the board of governors and the executive committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hongkong in extending greetings to members of the Canadian community in Hongkong. Birthdays are a time for both reflection and for looking forward. On the occasion of their national birthday, Canadians certainly have cause for celebration. Beautiful, peaceful and prosperous are perhaps appropriate adjectives to use when describing Canada but these words could apply to many nations. However, I believe the feature for which our nation is best known and of which Canadians are justifiably proud, is the fairness and openness of its society. Canada welcomes and is a friend to people from all nations. These are fine achievements and all Canadians have cause for celebration on this important day. In the coming year, I have no doubt that Canada will not be far from the headlines. A new female prime minister, federal elections in autumn and other issues will mean that Canada will be in the news. Canadians in Hongkong will have a role to play as Canada increasingly seeks to strengthen its trade and economic ties with Southeast Asia and with China in particular. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce stands ready to act as a bridge between Canada and Asia and we certainly expect that the coming 12 months will be full of challenge and opportunity. Finally, sincere thanks to Canada's many friends for their help and assistance during the past year and we look forward to your continuing support in the coming year.