Message from Ms. Alessandra Schiavo, Consul General of Italy
Message from Ms. Alessandra Schiavo, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong and Macao
意大利駐港澳總領事 格施嘉鳳 獻辭
As in previous years, the Consulate General of Italy has focused on promoting economic and commercial ties with Hong Kong, well aware of the importance of this Special Administrative Region as a strategic platform from which to access the ever-growing, promising markets of the PRC and of South East Asia.
In the wine sector, our exports have risen by over 66% since 2010. In 2012, Italy was again the largest participant country in the Hong Kong Wine and Spirits Fair, with 186 producers representing the excellence of our industry. Among other examples of the outstanding performance of our trade with Hong Kong are jewellery exports, which increased by 7.5% last year and recorded an impressive +32% in the first three months of 2013.
These are all very encouraging data, which once more show Hong Kong people’s growing passion for Italian style, artistic traditions and design, as well as for our mouthwatering, extremely wide and diversified eno-gastronomic panorama.
In total, our bilateral trade with Hong Kong expanded from 9.13 billion USD in 2010 to 10.37 billion USD in 2012, making Hong Kong the third biggest partner of Italy in Asia, after China and Japan. Italian exports reached a record 7.15 billion USD, making us the fourth largest EU partner of this vibrant and beautiful city.
We are also very active in the cultural field. At the end of 2011, we opened the Italian Cultural Institute, which, in collaboration with our Consulate General, is setting up a full and interesting programme, ranging from music (classical, opera, jazz and pop) to theatre and cinema, both classical and contemporary. You may have heard of the Salento Actor Award, which I had the honour of bestowing upon Andy Lau at one of the most recent film festivals we held, which received a warm, enthusiastic response from the public.
The Italian community here is not only on the rise (+45% in the last three years), but is also one of the most ancient foreign communities. To help Hong Kong people remember the value that Italians have contributed to these lands, I have launched a book entitled “500 years of Italians in Hong Kong and Macau”, which tells the intriguing story – one far less well-known than it deserves to be - of the courage and passion which have distinguished my fellow citizens in the last half-millennium.
意大利駐港澳總領事 格施嘉鳳 獻辭
我們在文化方面也非常活躍，在二零一一年底，我們設立了意大利文化協會，該會聯同本總領事館制訂一套全面和有趣的節目，涵蓋由音樂 (古典、歌劇、爵士樂和流行音樂) 至戲劇和電影，既有古典也有當代。閣下可能會聽過薩蘭托演員大獎，本人榮幸地在最近的電影節上頒發該獎項予劉德華先生，獲得公眾的熱烈和熱情的反應。