Pacific presents opportunities to Canada and HK

HONG Kong and Canadian entrepreneurs can combine to build a better and more vibrant Asia-Pacific, according to Brian Chau Tak-hay, Secretary for Trade and Industry.

Mr Chau said yesterday he was optimistic that the Asia Pacific region - to which both Hong Kong and Canada belong - would continue to be the fastest-growing region in the world even into the next century.

''The dynamism of the region is due in no small way to the economic liberalisation pursued by China and other East Asian economies,'' Mr Chau said at a business seminar organised as part of Metro Toronto Week in Hong Kong.

Many of the East Asian economies, he said, were at different stages of development which were quite different from those of Hong Kong and Canada.

''Because of the existing strong economic, social, cultural and human bonds between Hong Kong and Toronto, it is only natural that our business ties will grow ever stronger,'' he said.

''Business ties start with awareness - awareness of business opportunities and of the investment environment.'' He said events such as the business seminar would enhance the awareness of corporate leaders in Hong Kong and in Toronto of what each region had to offer.

Mr Chau said looking beyond the bilateral level, there was a lot of scope for co-operation between businessmen in Hong Kong and Canada, including Metro Toronto to capitalise on the opportunities offered in the Asia Pacific region.

Metro Toronto Week in Hong Kong is a reciprocal event to last year's Festival Hong Kong in Canada.

The territory also set up an economic and trade office in Toronto earlier this month to assist trade between the two centres.