Hong Kong Hungers for Boosted Trade with Mid-Eastern Nations
As part of its efforts to boost trade with Middle Eastern nations, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council on May 27 opened its regional office in Dubai.
The new office at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry will aim to expand Hong Kong's trade with 15 nations including East Mediterranean and North African states. Experts believe that key markets for Hong Kong include Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran, the Gulf News reported.
Total trade between the Middle East and Hong Kong exceeded $3.5 billion last year, up from the previous year's $3.4 billion. The UAE accounts for $640 million of this total. Trade between the UAE and Hong Kong witnessed 24 percent growth in the first quarter of 2000, hitting $968 million.
Indicating that US and EU markets are nearing saturation for Hong Kong trade, HKTDC executive director Michael Sze announced that Hong Kong's trade with Middle East countries must be strengthened. "We have been present in the Middle East for 20 years on a consultancy basis, and we feel the need to have a full-time representative for Hong Kong to look on our ties with this part of world on a long-term, strategic basis," Sze commented. "The less traditional markets such as Latin America, the Middle East and Africa have the opportunity for growth and there is no better place to site a regional office than in Dubai," he added.
To stimulate trade, Sze disclosed that a series of trade exhibitions and fairs would be conducted in Dubai for products such as watches, jewelry and more. "Our primary markets in the region are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Hong Kong but in the long run we want to link our merchants and traders to Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain and to some extent Kuwait via Dubai," remarked Dennis Yau, HKTDC deputy executive director. - albawaba.com
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