1 October 2003

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Malta-Hong Kong trade potential promising

By David Lindsay
Speaking to The Malta Financial and Business Times during a whistle stop visit to Malta last week, Hong Kong Trade Development Council Regional Director for Western Europe Raymond Yip was adamant that trade between Malta and Hong Kong holds great potential for growth and that further synergies can be developed between the two islands.
Although bilateral trade between the trading hubs two hubs stood at close to USD100 million last year – a mere fraction compared with Hong Kong’s total global trade of around USD400 billion – this trade increased by some 30 per cent last year.
Mr Yip explains, "We want to do more business with Malta. To this end I think that the business communities in Hong Kong and Malta should work together more to further explore this potential by taking advantage of the benefits offered by the two trading hubs."
The real estate mantra of location, location, location aptly applies to both, with Malta serving as an entry point to the European and North African markets and with Hong Kong being a stepping stone to the mammoth Chinese and Asian economies.
"In this respect we are not leaving any stones unturned," Mr Yip comments. "I think that with Malta joining the EU next year, we are viewing Malta as another entry point, or stepping stone, into the EU markets.
"However, Malta is also very close to North Africa and the Maltese language is very similar to Arabic. Libya is a good case in point and now that UN sanctions are being lifted, we see a large scope for activity.
"We know that Malta is the gateway to that part of the world and, like Hong Kong, Malta is an integrator and facilitator of international trade. So it’s up to us to explore synergies between these two hubs and taking full advantage of them."
A full interview will appear in this month’s edition of the Economic Update, released with The Malta Financial and
Business Times.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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