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Hong Kong-based trade body organises roadshows to attract Indian investors

PTI     September 26, 2019

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council, a statutory body engaged in promotion of business, has organised roadshows in India to attract prospective Indian businessmen for investments, an official said.

The initiative by the trade promotion body holds significance amid large-scale protests in Hong Kong.

The interactions with Indian companies will help removing their worries arising out of the unrest in Hong Kong that continues to enjoy special status in China, the HKTDC regional director (Southeast Asia and South Asia) Peter Wong said.

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"We are trying to communicate about misunderstanding that China is taking over (special status of) Hong Kong. The situation will get normalise soon as the government has completely withdrawn the proposal of extradition. The government is also holding dialogue with civil organisations to restore normalcy," Wong said.

Three roadshows, one each in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Agartala, have been organised to attract investments from Indian companies, he said.

Hong Kong's protests were lit by a plan to allow extraditions to the authoritarian mainland, seen by opponents as the latest move by China to chip away at the city's unique freedoms.

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Millions of people have taken to Hong Kong's streets since June in the biggest challenge to China's rule of semi- autonomous Hong Kong since its handover from the British in 1997.

Wong said Hong Kong is an attractive destination for investors due to its "special status" and if "it is taken away, it will become a city like any other city of China and no one wants that to happen".

He said Hong Kong has become the larger financial hub than Singapore and about 60 per cent of the total $150 billion Chinese FDI globally is routed through Hong Kong, he said.

Exports have been down by 5 per cent so far in 2019, he said adding that it may be wrong to say that the shipments have decreased only due to the social unrest.

The fall in exports could be due to the global slowdown and the trade war between China and the US, Wong said.

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Wong pointed that there are many manufacturing companies who are looking for alternative base in India and enquires about this rose "significantly".

The interests are coming from sectors like electronics, textile and garments and food processing, he said.

Meanwhile, the senior HKTDC official had met the chief secretary of West Bengal and Odhisa and discussed about the bilateral cooperation.

Wong hoped a trade representative office of the council in Kolkata would be opened in future.

Till May 2019, total trade volume between India and Hong Kong stood at $9.8 billion, he added.

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