HK Chief Executive meets Russian President

 Published: 4/17/2011 6:23:05 AM GMT
Xinhua Original Cached

HONG KONG, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang held a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at Government House and hosted a luncheon in his honor on Sunday.

Both sides agreed to work towards an early start of negotiations on agreements on avoidance of double taxation and investment promotion and protection.

They agreed to strengthen collaboration in science, culture and education.

They noted the negotiation of an agreement for mutual assistance in criminal matters is approaching conclusion.

The value of trade between Hong Kong and Russia grew by more than 62 percent year-on-year, totaling almost 20 billion HK dollars (2.6 billion U.S. dollars) last year. In the past two years both sides have signed a mutual visa-free travel agreement.

Hong Kong has launched direct passenger flights to Moscow and both sides have staged various business events in each other's cities.

"Another breakthrough last year was the first listing of a Russian company on the Hong Kong stock market. So far two companies with a Russian background have listed here," Tsang said.

He welcomed Russian firms making the most of Hong Kong's capital-raising expertise. He also encouraged Russian firms to issue Renminbi-denominated bonds in Hong Kong and expand their reach on the Mainland through CEPA.

Medvedev said Russia is keen to tap Hong Kong's rich experience in financial services to develop its own and wants to see more Russian firms listing in the city, and more participation of Hong Kong companies in his country's economic development.

He said Russia-Hong Kong cooperation is becoming a significant component in the strategic partnership between Russia and China. He encouraged Hong Kong businessmen to participate in the implementation of the 2009-2018 Cooperation Program between Russia and China, and Russia's regional development programs.

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