Message to the “International Link Magazine” of the Consul General of Italy, Mrs Alessandra Schiavo
意大利駐港澳總領事 格施嘉鳳 獻辭
Relations between Italy and Hong Kong continue to be excellent: Hong Kong keeps its key role as a service hub and gateway for other countries to Mainland China and to other States of South East Asia; according to the forecasts, China will become the first luxury goods market by 2015, and with its seducing and fast cars, inimitable fashion, jewels and design, Italy has a lot to offer and many reasons to invest in this part of the world.
Italian exports grew last year by over 30%, reaching 5,45 billions USD and confirming us as the third European supplier of Hong Kong. In total, the volume of the total trade was 9,13 billions USD, considerably higher than the 7,7 billions USD recorded in 2009.
Fashion alone covered 73% of the Italian exports to Hong Kong, while the exports of our excellent red wines grew by almost 51%, and the whites by almost 20%. This shows that the sophisticated and cosmopolitan Hong Kong consumers are becoming increasingly more capable of finding their bearings in the complex but extremely fascinating and rewarding universe of Italian wines and appreciate their richness and variety.
Although these results are very encouraging, I believe that there is still room for further improvements: the potential of Hong Kong and Chinese markets is huge, and the Italian talent and tradition in design, quality of lifestyle, and everything which is related to arts and beauty is virtually unlimited.
Moreover: Italy is not only a country of arts and culture, but also the sixth most industrialized power in the world, with outstanding companies in the fields of infrastructure, services, information and telecommunications technologies.
We definitely should have more investments and more bilateral cooperation in these sectors, since these are also the areas upon which Hong Kong – which has always shown a remarkable farsightedness – has built its present wealth and envisages its future!
Last year, thanks also to the strenuous efforts of the Consulate General, both the number and the quality of official Italian delegations to Hong Kong remarkably raised: the President of the Republic, H.E. Giorgio Napolitano, and the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Stefania Craxi, arrived here in October 2010; in the same month the Special Representative of the Minister of Culture, Mr Resca, visited Hong Kong; former Prime Minister and former President of the European Commission, Hon. Romano Prodi came twice, in September 2010 and in January 2011.
Various members of Parliament followed their example, while businessmen and entrepreneurs came in thousands: more than 2.000 have participated in the events organized by the Italian Trade Commission and the Consulate General; more than 10.000 have long-term relations with Hong Kong counterparts. Attracted by this flourishing market, also the Italian community in Hong Kong increased by 9% last year.
These are all unmistakable signs that the already deep and mutual appreciation between Hong Kong and Italian people is destined to grow also in the years to come!
去年，感謝總領事館的不懈努力，訪港的官方代表團在數量及質量兩方面都有提升。共和國總統喬治‧納波利塔諾、外交部副外長Stefania Craxi於二零一零年十月訪港；同月，文化部長的特別代表Mr. Resca亦訪港；前總理及前歐洲委員會主席羅馬諾‧普羅迪於二零一零年九月及二零一一年一月先後訪港兩次。多位國會議員以及成千上萬的商人和企業家以他們為榜樣，逾二千名人士參與了由駐港總領事館和商務專員公署所舉辦的活動，亦有逾萬人與香港的夥伴有長期關係。因受這蓬勃市場的吸引，去年香港的意大利社群的人數增加了百分之九。