Ambassador Hashmi, CE Hong Kong discuss cultural, tourism cooperation

BEIJING: Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Khalil Hashmi visited Hong Kong and held a meeting with its Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu and discussed cooperation in culture and tourism.

The Ambassador in an interview with China Daily said, “I’ve had a very productive visit to Hong Kong. I’m very impressed by the positive strides Hong Kong has continued to make. I’ve seen a lot of progress all-around, positive progress.”

Khalil Hashmi said both the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions have their own strengths, such as in financial services like banking and insurance, and in technology. It (Hong Kong) has plenty of experience in shipping and trading too.

The ambassador also met many other prominent figures in Hong Kong, including the city Commissioner for the Belt and Road Nicholas Ho Lik-chi, President of the Legislative Council Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, and leaders at InvestHK, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce.

Hashmi also called on the president and senior management officials of Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He also met with senior management officials of Hutchison Port Holdings – the largest investor from the HKSAR in Pakistan’s port and shipping business.

So far, the number of Pakistani expatriates in Hong Kong has reached 40,000, according to the Consulate General of Pakistan in the SAR. Hashmi also held valuable discussions with community leaders of the Pakistani diaspora, praising their spirit of solidarity and innovation, at an event organized by The Pakistan Association Hong Kong.

In a speech at the Pakistan Club, in which, he underscored the role played by the Pakistani community in Hong Kong, Hashmi emphasized that Pakistani nationals and Hong Kong residents of Pakistani origin serve as a vital bridge in relations between Pakistan and the HKSAR. The visit aims to strengthen ties with Hong Kong in diverse fields, including trade and investment, education and people-to-people relations.

On behalf of the Consulate General of Pakistan in the SAR, the Pakistani community in Hong Kong and the Pakistan Club, Bilal Ahmad Butt – Consul General of Pakistan in the Hong Kong and Macao SARs – extended a warm welcome to Ambassador Hashmi.

He said, the ambassador’s visit to Hong Kong is not just a meeting of diplomatic minds but also serves as a bridge for further beefing up ties between our communities across borders.

Hashmi’s efforts and dedication to fostering relations between Pakistan and China have been invaluable, Butt said.

He noted that total trade between Pakistan and Hong Kong has reached $250 million (HK$1.96 billion).

Pakistan exports mainly cotton, yarn, leather and food products, while the main products Hong Kong exported to Pakistan were broadcasting equipment, light rubberized knitted fabric, and semi-conductor devices.

The ambassador interacted with representatives of the Pakistan GBA Chamber of Commerce.

Qamar Minhas, president of the organization said the ambassador encouraged them to step up cultural exchanges between Pakistan communities and Hong Kong, as well as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which includes Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in Guangdong province.

Hashmi praised students of Pakistani origin in the region as having great potential and prospects, while expanding their links with the Greater Bay Area. The envoy also talked with Rizwan Ullah – newly-nominated district council member in Hong Kong and urged other Pakistani community leaders to play a more active role in the SAR to help raise the people socio-economic status.

I’ve been impressed by Hong Kong’s overall progress and its very diligent people, said Hashmi.

So, there is a lot of energy and passionate people in this city. All in all, I’m very happy and excited, and look forward to my next visit here, he added.

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