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Prime Minister Butkevičius: Hong Kong could become a bridge for Chinese investment to Lithuania and our export to China


Prime Minister Butkevičius: Hong Kong could become a bridge for Chinese investment to Lithuania and our export to China

Having arrived at Hong Kong yesterday Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius met with the representatives from the Lithuanian community, the Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the local business community and on Tuesday the Prime Minister started working meetings in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

In the morning the Lithuanian Prime Minister participated in the opening of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange where he gave a welcome speech and sounded the gong to open the morning trading session with President of the Stock Exchange Chow Chung-kong.

“It is a great honour to be here in one of the biggest financial centres in the world. Hong Kong is correctly defined as the meeting place of East and West. I expect it to become a bridge between the Chinese capital and foreign investment opportunities that are so much needed for Lithuania”, said the Head of the Lithuanian Government and added that the Hong Kong based Chinese industrial corporation China Merchants Group (CMG) has already chosen Lithuania as the base for further development to Central and Eastern Europe.

The President of the second biggest Stock Exchange in Asia in terms of number of shares put into circulation, Chow Chung-kong, said that more and more companies of China and its Administrative Region of Hong Kong are interested in investment opportunities in Lithuania, in particular, in the logistics sector through the use of the ice-free port of Klaipėda and the well-developed railway infrastructure.

Afterwards the Prime Minister Butkevičius met with Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong, Gregory So Kam-leung, and discussed trade and economic cooperation, as well as cooperation in the tourism sector.

„Lithuania is interested in developing trade relations with Hong Kong as a starting point for the Lithuanian business to further get into the Chinese market”, said the Lithuanian Prime Minister and named the most promising export sectors. These include advanced lasers for science and industry, biotechnologies, furniture and food production.

“The Lithuanian laser equipment is used by the most celebrated European, American and Asian universities, science laboratories and high-tech companies, such as NASA, CERN, Observatory of Hawaii, the University of Cambridge, General Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, LG and Samsung“, said the Head of the Government.

The Secretary expressed his willingness to visit Lithuania, together with the business delegation, with a view to learning more about the available investment opportunities. According to the preliminary agreement, the visit may take place as early as May this year.

The economic development officer noted that the locals were very special about the quality of food, so the opening Lithuanian dairy and meat product import opportunities would provide them with yet another good choice.

On tourism, the Secretary pointed out the growing interest among Hong Kong population in the Baltic countries, including Lithuania, which ensures the continued flows to Lithuania. Last year, the number of tourists from China was 10 thousand. Medical packages were in particular demand.

The bilateral cooperation was discussed in Prime Minister's meeting with the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Leung Chun-ying.

"As the geographical centre of Europe, Lithuania can offer integrated transport infrastructure and skilled labour force, and serve as a gateway to the 500 million-market of the European Union", said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also noted that following the assessment procedures, Lithuania will be able to export beef to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong official said that beef was imported mainly from Canada, and Lithuanian products would represent a high-quality alternative.

The Prime Minister invited the Hong Kong executives with the business and scientific community to participate in an important large international conference Life Sciences Baltics 2016 to be held in Vilnius in September.

Today, the Prime Minister will also meet with the Chairman of the Board of the Corporation of China Merchants Group, Li Jianhong.

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