Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Opens Government’s first Economic and Trade Office in the Middle East, in Dubai

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Dedicated investment promotion unit to assist GCC companies, entrepreneurs, and family offices to set up, retain and expand business operations in Hong Kong, and tap into opportunities in Mainland China and Asia Pacific Region 

Total merchandise trade between Hong Kong and the GCC amounted to HK$100 billion (USD 13 billion) in 2020

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Dubai (Dubai ETO) commenced operation today. The opening of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s first ETO in the Middle East region will consolidate and strengthen Hong Kong’s economic and trade relations with trading partners in the region, in particular, the six member states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC).

The occasion was marked by an opening ceremony held at the Dubai ETO today. Addressing the opening ceremony of the Dubai ETO by way of video message, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said the establishment of the Dubai ETO underscores the importance Hong Kong attaches to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the five other member states of the GCC, and will facilitate businesses and investors throughout the region to take advantage of Hong Kong’s singular opportunities.

The opening ceremony was hosted by the Director-General of the Dubai ETO, Mr Damian Lee; officiating guests included the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi; the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the UAE, His Excellency Mr Ni Jian; the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai, His Excellency Mr Li Xuhang; the Deputy Director of the Dubai Office of the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Rashid Abdulla Al Qaseer; and the Assistant Director General of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, Mr Khalid Ibrahim Al Kassim.

The GCC is one of Hong Kong’s most valued trading and investment partners and is home to over 50 million people and, in 2020 the total merchandise trade between Hong Kong and the GCC amounted to HK$100 billion (USD 13 billion), out of which the UAE accounted for over 70%, HK$73.5 billion (USD 9.5 billion). While GCC countries are committed to developing diversified economies, Hong Kong is eminently poised to provide tremendous opportunities for GCC companies and entrepreneurs. The Dubai ETO will have a dedicated investment promotion unit to assist companies and entrepreneurs in the GCC region to set up, retain and expand their business portfolios particularly under China’s Belt and Road Initiative and extend their market presence to Mainland China and the Asia Pacific Region. There are various sectors of mutual interest, from new and traditional energies to smart city, transportation, logistics, financial technology, biotechnology, and jewellery, etc.

Mr Damian Lee, Director-General of Dubai ETO, commented: “At the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Dubai our focus is to promote bilateral economic, trade and cultural ties between Hong Kong and the GCC countries. As well as supporting GCC companies and entrepreneurs to expand their businesses to Hong Kong we will also work with family offices to help them establish a presence in the city, where they will be able to tap into excellent investment opportunities and lucrative projects in the Asia Pacific region.”

The geographical coverage of the Dubai ETO includes the six member states of the GCC, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

The Dubai ETO is Hong Kong’s 14th overseas ETO and is the second overseas ETO set up by the current-term Government, following the establishment of the Bangkok ETO in February 2019. The overseas ETOs are responsible for promoting Hong Kong’s economic and trade interests by enhancing Hong Kong’s reputation overseas, closely monitoring developments that might affect Hong Kong’s interests, and liaising closely with the business and commercial sectors, politicians, and foreign media. They arrange or co-organise promotional events with other overseas Hong Kong organisations to promote Hong Kong’s advantages and latest developments. The HKSAR Government has been actively expanding the network of overseas ETOs to enhance external promotion and exchanges, seeking new business opportunities for Hong Kong.