Taiwan has given permission to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to set up an office in Taipei. The office will be the special administrative region’s first official organization in Taiwan, HKTDC Spokesman William Cheung (張志輝) said on Thursday.
The council applied to Taiwanese authorities earlier this year to establish an office in Taipei, and received approval on Thursday, Cheung said, adding that the council welcomed the decision.
The council was established in 1966 as the international marketing arm of Hong Kong and now has 40 offices around the world, Cheung said.
The council has rented an office in Taipei, and will send one staff member from Hong Kong, while other personnel will be recruited locally, Cheung said.
The Taipei office is being established to enhance bilateral trade relations and promote Hong Kong’s services industry, with financial services, logistics and real estate being the focus, Cheung said. The Taipei office will also help to boost cooperation between the two sides in technology development and the entertainment industry, he said.
Taiwan is Hong Kong’s fourth largest trade partner in terms of volume, with bilateral trade volume standing at US$33.25 billion for last year, Cheung said, citing council statistics.
Bilateral trade for the period from January to August this year stood at US$22 billion, up by 2.4 percent from the same period last year, he said. The figures show that Taiwanese exports to Hong Kong were worth US$17 billion while Hong Kong’s exports to Taiwan were worth US$5 billion, Cheung said.
Cheung said that the Taiwan market would offer more business opportunities for Hong Kong with the continued improvement of relations between Taiwan and China.