The Commerce & Economic Development Bureau and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)'s Ministry of Economy jointly held a webinar today to explore collaboration opportunities in trade, investment and professional services.

The webinar, titled "Hong Kong-UAE Partnership: Immense Opportunities", attracted some 400 sign-ups.

Addressing the opening session, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau said the UAE is Hong Kong's largest trading partner in the Middle East and underlined the close economic and trade partnership between the two sides.

He noted that the mutual collaboration between the two places has reached new heights after the signing of the Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement in June 2019 and the formal opening of the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in Dubai in October last year.

Mr Yau encouraged enterprises of the UAE and member states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf to leverage Hong Kong's role as a two-way connector to capitalise on the opportunities brought by the Belt & Road Initiative.

Businesses can also make use of the Mainland & Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement as well as the Free Trade Agreement between Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as springboards to tap into these markets, in particular the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, he emphasised.

In addition to trade collaboration, Mr Yau pointed out that there was plenty of room for enhanced co-operation in the area of professional services. He also highlighted the benefits that Hong Kong's professional services could bring to the UAE's infrastructure and investment projects.

The webinar featured a panel discussion session moderated by Commissioner for Belt & Road Rex Chang, which focused on the opportunities for collaboration in the post-COVID era.

During the discussion, panelists from Hong Kong and the UAE shared their insights on how the two places could join hands to enhance collaboration and seize the immense opportunities in trade, investment, professional services, as well as innovation and technology.


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