Chinese New Year Reception in Singapore
February 1, 2023
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in Singapore hosted a Chinese New Year Reception on February 1 to welcome the Year of the Rabbit at The Clifford Pier of the Fullerton Bay Hotel, an elegant heritage site at Collyer Quay marked with a distinctive roof structure of arched trusses.
After a three-year hiatus brought by COVID-19, we were glad to have the opportunity to reunite with both old and new friends to share our past stories and future aspirations amidst a lively night of laughter and music dotted by a boisterous lion dance, a traditional "Lo Hei" ceremony to herald a new year, a sumptuous buffet dinner with different cuisines, and a melodious performance delivered by a group of talented musicians led by Hong Kong erhu player Ms Chan Pik-sum.
In his welcome speech, the Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore, Mr Owin Fung, shared that the trade relations between Hong Kong and Singapore remained solid in the past few years despite the disruption brought by the epidemic, registering a 26% growth in the trade in goods from 2018 to 2022. Singapore and ASEAN as a whole are Hong Kong’s fourth and second largest trading partners in the globe respectively. To broaden regional economic integration, Hong Kong has made a request to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest trading bloc. The accession to RCEP will enable Hong Kong to further integrate into the regional industrial value chain, allow our quality professional services to reach the needy parties, and reinforce Hong Kong’s position as an international trade centre, while facilitating the growth of the entire region, he added.
He also highlighted that the implementation of "one country, two systems", recently written into the constitution of the Communist Party of China in its 20th National Congress, is a solemn commitment and will stay for a long period of time. Hong Kong's business environment will remain free, open and regulated in alignment with international best practice, with common law system and independent exercise of judicial powers to continue to underpin the city’s development.
Elaborating on China’s economic power in contributing to 30% of global annual economic growth, he remarked that it is imperative to capture “China opportunities” through Hong Kong as it is a gateway to and from the Mainland especially the Guangdong-HK-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), a similar role taken up by Singapore in ASEAN.
The reception was attended by more than 220 guests from the local government, diplomatic, academic, business, media and Hong Kong community circles. Other important guests gracing the event included Chinese Ambassador to Singapore, Ms Sun Haiyan; Laotian Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Sengkeo Pouangpadith; Cambodian Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Sok Khoeun; High Commissioner of High Commission of the Brunei Darussalam in Singapore, Dato Paduka Haji Sidek bin Ali; Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore, Mrs Chonlatee Chanrachakul; Deputy Head of Mission and Consul General of the Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore, Dr Emmanuel R. Fernandez; Executive Director of APEC Secretariat, Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria; Chief Executive of National Arts Council, Mrs Rosa Daniel; and Deputy Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Mr Timothy Seow.