As the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt by economies across the globe, Hong Kong looks to strengthen economic relations with Japan, a key trading partner in Asia.
Today, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Aomori Prefectural Government of Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mutual cooperation in promoting economic exchange, during the Food Expo 2022.
Japan was Hong Kong’s 6th largest trading partner in 2021, with total merchandise trade amounting to about HK$390 billion. In 2021, Hong Kong’s domestic export of goods to Japan totaled HK$666 million, while Hong Kong imported about HK$271 billion worth of goods from Japan including a variety of food, fruits and sake.
Commanding a vast coastline with an abundance of marine life, Aomori Prefecture in Japan’s Tohoku region situated on the northernmost part of Japan’s main island Honshu boasts a flourishing aquaculture industry. It is also known for its well-developed forestry and agricultural industries thanks to its rich natural environment.
The HKTDC and Aomori Prefectural Government will engage in a variety of exchange programs, including business meetings, seminars and trade fairs, to extend economic cooperation. The MoU will not only facilitate economic exchange, but also create opportunities for businesses in Hong Kong and Aomori Prefecture. With businesses looking to recover from the pandemic, the MoU enables them to capture these opportunities, tap into new markets and expand operations.
HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said, “The HKTDC today signs into effect a Memorandum of Understanding on economic collaboration with the Aomori Prefectural Government of Japan. I hope that through carrying out economic exchange programs, including business missions, seminars and trade fairs, we can expand trade and investment, cement our business ties and drive economic growth in Hong Kong and Aomori Prefecture. Strong bilateral economic relationships are critical to the stability of today’s global economy, and the HKTDC is pleased to engage with the Aomori Prefecture Government to further economic exchange.”
Shingo Mimura, Governor of the Aomori Prefectural Government, added, “While Hong Kong is the main export destination for the world-renowned Aomori apple, its people also enjoy our beautiful landscapes created by the four seasons, our festivals, fresh food and hot springs. Over the years, they have built a close relationship with Aomori. The Aomori Prefecture Government is committed to promoting agriculture, forestry, and aquatic products for export and attracting tourists. We will continue to devote our efforts to strengthening the trade relations between the two places. With HKTDC’s platform, we hope to promote our hidden gems and gourmet cuisine to those in Hong Kong who love Japanese food and culture.”
Japan has lifted most of covid measures. In May, the country has announced it will welcome tour groups from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China without requiring they undergo testing upon arrival or quarantine for Covid-19.
This year, Hong Kong’s economy slipped into recession after experiencing two quarters of negative growths. This week, the SAR administration has finally cut hotel quarantine to 3 days as it tries to rejuvenate local economy.
This year’s HKTDC Food Expo was held from August 11 to 15 at HKCEC, concurrently with the HKTDC Hong Kong International Tea Fair, HKTDC Home Delights Expo and HKTDC Beauty & Wellness Expo, featuring more than 1,000 exhibitors.