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U.S. Consul General says natural for HK's economic integration with China's mainland

05-20-2010 09:55 BJT

HONG KONG, May 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong, Stephen M. Young, said here Wednesday the global financial crisis provided HK an opportunity to accelerate a long-standing trend towards greater economic integration with the mainland and it was natural "to focus its attention where the opportunities appeared most attractive".

In his first Hong Kong speech, entitled "Initial Reflections on U.S.-Hong Kong Relations", Young said economic integration between the city and China's Mainland was a trend that had been underway since the first factories moved across the border to neighboring Shenzhen in the 1980s.

In the last few months this year, increasing efforts were made to connect Hong Kong more closely with the rest of the Pearl River Delta, such as the start of construction of the massive Hong Kong- Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, a high-speed rail link to Guangdong and a framework agreement between Guangdong and HK to secure closer economic cooperation.

"This is all part of a natural and positive development," said Young, who assumed his post on March 11 this year.

He praised Hong Kong as a special city, despite its small size, which played an important role in the world.

Young told the audience at the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong that openness to the world was one of the keys to Hong Kong's success, including a free port and a vibrant financial services industry.

The U.S. diplomat also commended relations between the U.S. and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. "There are few places in the world where we have such a positive and cooperative relationship with our official counterparts," he said.

"Most of the time, getting access to the Hong Kong market isn't a problem. We continue to enjoy a trade surplus with Hong Kong -- in fact, in 2009, it was our largest trade surplus worldwide -- about 17.5 billion U.S. dollars," Young said.

According to Young, a very wide range of U.S. government agencies represented in the Consulate General in Hong Kong, with responsibilities ranging from helping 60,000 Americans living in the city to promoting U.S. trade in goods and services.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: Xinhua

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