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On the President of the Republic's working visit to Hong Kong

Today at noon, President Lennart Meri had a meeting with Tung Chee Hwa, Chairman of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; on the meeting it was stated that Estonia and Hong Kong have many similar aspects from the liberal fiscal policy and tax system to the fact that both Estonia and Hong Kong are centres of larger regions. Tung Chee Hwa recognised the progress Estonia and President Meri have achieved within last ten years.

As President Meri said, Estonia and Hong Kong are like two ultimate links at the two ends of a chain, and can therefore be connected nicely and easily.

Today's meeting included a lengthy discussion of transport between Estonia and Hong Kong, both the movement of goods and tourism were discussed. The Estonian President and the governmental leader of Hong Kong were glad to point out that in summer, the Minister of Economy of Hong Kong would pay a visit to Estonia, and also the agreement on air traffic between Estonia and Hong Kong would be concluded.

Also Cau Tak-hay, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Hong Kong, participated in the meeting; he confirmed that the businessmen of Hong Kong were very interested in Estonia, and recognised the work of Jeffrey Lam Kin Fung, the Honorary Consul of Estonia, in introducing Estonia. Tung Chee Hwa hosted a lunch in honour of President Meri, and besides the leaders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, also Rebecca Lai, director of the Hong Kong Tourist Board, was present there. Besides economic relations, also co-operation in the field of culture was discussed, as well as the possibility to invite Estonian musicians and artists to the Hong Kong Music Festival.

President Meri said he was glad to see Hong Kong businessmen being interested in Estonia, and he invited the hosts on a counter-visit to Estonia.

President Lennart Meri and the director of Hutchisoni port Mark JackHong Kong has one of the largest ports in the world, and this afternoon, President Meri visited Hutchinson International Port Holdings, where the port director Mark Jack showed the guests the operating of the container terminal. As President Meri said, the port of Hong Kong and the ports of Estonia have a lot to teach to each other and to learn from each other, and invited them to Estonia to see the opportunities the coasts of the Baltic Sea have to offer.

This evening, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council will host a dinner in honour of President Meri, where the President and Signe Ratso, Deputy Under Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, will speak of Estonia's export possibilities.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, March 9, 2001


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