Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office

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Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
HKETO-London.JPG
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London, formerly at 6 Grafton Street
Traditional Chinese香港經濟貿易辦事處
Simplified Chinese香港经济贸易办事处
Jyutpinghoeng1 gong2 ging1 zai3 mau6 yik6 baan6 si6 cyu3

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (HKETOs) are the trade offices of Hong Kong outside the territory. There are 14 HKETOs outside Hong Kong and China, and seven in China (four offices and three liaison units).

In addition to HKETOs, the Hong Kong Government has an office in Beijing, the capital of China, called the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing.

History[edit]

Prior to the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, Hong Kong's commercial interests in its major trade markets were represented by Hong Kong Government Offices – consular matters were handled by the relevant British embassy or high commission. By 1982, the Hong Kong Government Offices, with locations in London, Brussels, Washington and Geneva, were placed under the then Councils and Administration Branch (Chinese: 兩局及行政科) of the Hong Kong Government.[1][2]

HKETO Brussels is the second among all HKETOs, marking its 50th anniversary in 2015.[3]

In preparation for the handover, the British and Chinese governments agreed that these offices should be renamed "Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices", to make clear that they did not have diplomatic or consular functions.[citation needed] In the United Kingdom, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Act 1996[4] conferred a number of personal immunity and tax privileges on the HKETO in London.[citation needed]

Similar arrangements were negotiated with other host countries of HKETOs. For instance, the HKETO in Toronto is accredited by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada under the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Privileges and Immunities Order,[5] and HKETO in Sydney by the Overseas Missions (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1995.[6]

Hong Kong Free Press reported that HKTDC paid around HKD $84 million from 2014 to 2020 to US lobbying firms to oppose the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.[7] The lobbyist contracts were signed by the HKTDC, and the HKETO in Washington D.C. gave instructions to the lobbyists.[8]

Functions[edit]

Hong Kong has full autonomy in the conduct of its external commercial relations. The Basic Law of the Hong Kong provides that it shall be a separate customs territory and may, using the name 'Hong Kong, China', participate in relevant international organisations and international trade agreements, such as the World Trade Organization.

The HKETOs concentrate most of their work on promoting Hong Kong's economic and trade interests. The major function of HKETOs include:

  • Enhancing understanding of Hong Kong among opinion-formers
  • Monitoring developments that might affect Hong Kong's economic and trading interests
  • Liaising closely with the business and commercial sectors, politicians and the news media.
  • Organise events to promote Hong Kong's image
  • Regularly meeting with counterparts and contacts in the territories under their purview
  • Organizes overseas visits of senior Hong Kong officials

HKETO London serves concurrently as Hong Kong's permanent mission to the International Maritime Organization, HKETO Brussels to the European Union, and HKETO Geneva to the World Trade Organization.

In countries or territories where no HKETO is present, diplomatic missions of China have the duty to represent Hong Kong's interests. Visa applications at these missions are, nevertheless, sent to and processed by the Immigration Department of Hong Kong.

Organisation[edit]

Overseas HKETOs are placed under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the Hong Kong Government. Offices of the Government of the Hong Kong in Beijing and other parts of Mainland China are placed under the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau. The head of the HKETOs are usually called Director.

Privileges and immunities[edit]

The privileges and immunities granted to the HKETOs are the result of negotiations with the host governments and these vary from one office to another. In some cases, the host governments (such as the United Kingdom, Australia[9] and Germany) have granted certain privileges and immunities to the HKETOs through dedicated domestic legislation.

At present, all eleven overseas HKETOs have been granted certain privileges and immunities by respective host governments to facilitate the HKETOs to discharge their duties without intervention. Broadly speaking, the privileges and immunities enjoyed by the HKETOs mainly include the inviolability of premises, official correspondence, archives and documents as well as the exemption of premises and representatives from taxation.[10]

HKETO Berlin is the only regional representative office in Germany that has a quasi-diplomatic status.[11]

Locations[edit]

  Countries hosting one or more offices
Bangkok office and covered countries
Berlin office and covered countries
Brussels office and covered countries
Jakarta office and covered countries
London office and covered countries
Singapore office and covered countries
Sydney office and covered countries
country / region location/Official website Jurisdiction/address
 Australia Sydney  Australia New Zealand
 Belgium European Union Brussels  Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus France Greece Italy Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Portugal Romania
 United Kingdom London  Denmark Estonia Finland Latvia Lithuania Norway Russia Sweden United Kingdom
 Spain Barcelona [Carrer de Tuset, 5,6th Floor – 08006 Barcelona, Spain]
 Russia Moscow [Aviareps AG 7th Floor, Business Centre “Diamond Hall”14 Olympiysky prospect Moscow, 129090 Russia]
 France Paris [32 rue de Caumartin - 5eme etage 75009 Paris, France]
 Czech Republic Prague [Na Kocínce 3 16000 Prague 6, Czech Republic]
 Italy Milan [Via Orefici, 2, 20123 Milan, Italy]
 Hungary Budapest
 Sweden Stockholm [Upplandsgatan 14,111 23 Stockholm, Sweden]
 Poland Warsaw [Al. Solidarnosci 113 lok. 2800-140 Warsaw, Poland]
 Brazil Sao paulo [Rua Cel. Xavier de Toledo,316 - Cj 10A - lo.andarCEP 01048-000 Sao Paulo-SPBrazil]
 Chile Santiago [Fidel Oteiza 1916 Of 701Providencia, Santiago, Chile]
 Germany Berlin  Germany Austria Czech Republic Hungary Poland Slovenia Slovakia  Switzerland
 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur [AVIAREPS Malaysia Suite 2701, Level 27 Wisma Chuang,34, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250,Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia]
 Japan Tokyo  Japan South Korea
 South Korea Seoul [Suite 1105, President Hotel 16 Eulchiro Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea]
 Philippines Makati [Supersonic Services Inc Ground Floor, Colonnade Residences Condominium 132 C. Palanca Jr St.Legaspi Village, Makati, 1220 Philippines]
 Singapore Singapore  Singapore Thailand Laos Cambodia Myanmar Vietnam
 Indonesia ASEAN Jakarta  Philippines Indonesia Malaysia Brunei
 Thailand Bangkok(Webpage building)  Bangladesh,  Cambodia,  Myanmar,  Thailand.
  Switzerland Geneva World Trade Organization
 United States New York  Alabama Mississippi Arkansas Missouri Connecticut New Hampshire Delaware New Jersey Florida New York Georgia (U.S. state) North Carolina Illinois Ohio Indiana Pennsylvania Iowa Rhode Island Kentucky South Carolina Louisiana Tennessee Maine Vermont Maryland Virginia Massachusetts West Virginia Michigan Wisconsin Minnesota
San Francisco  Alaska New Mexico Arizona North Dakota California Oklahoma Colorado Oregon Hawaii South Dakota Idaho Texas Kansas Utah Montana Washington Nebraska Wyoming Nevada
United States

Washington

 United States
 Canada Toronto  New Brunswick,  Newfoundland and Labrador,  Nova Scotia,  Ontario,  Prince Edward Island,  Quebec
Vancouver  Alberta,  British Columbia,  Manitoba,  Saskatchewan
 India New Delhi [Mileage Communications (India) Pvt. Ltd. 261 (First Floor) Lane 5 Westend Marg, Said-Ul-Ajaib New Delhi 110030 INDIA]
 United Arab Emirates Dubai [Gulf Reps Ltd PO Box 75142 Mezzanine Floor,The Travel Center,Shk. Zayed Road, Dubai UAE]
 Vietnam Ho Chi Minh [Suite 701-702, Saigon Tower Office Building29 Le Duan Street, Dist. 1Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam]
 Mainland China Beijing[1] Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia
Shenyang[2]
Guangzhou Fujian (excluding ROC-controlled Kinmen and Matsu), GuangdongGuangxi, HainanYunnan
Fuzhou[3]
Shenzhen[4]
Shanghai Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Shandong
Jinan[5]
Chengdu Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Qinghai, Tibet
Chongqing[6]
Wuhan Hubei, Hunan, Shanxi, Jiangxi, Henan
Changsha[7]
Zhengzhou[8]
 Kenya Nairobi 3rd Floor, Sanlam House,Kenyatta Avenue,Nairobi,Kenya
 South Africa Johannesburg Wanderers Office Park,52 Corlett Drive Illovo 2196 Johannesburg South Africa

The HKETOs outside the Mainland China Region, particularly those in Europe and Asia, have responsibilities for several countries.[12][13] Those in the mainland similarly have responsibilities across several provinces.[14]

The building where Economic and Trade Office in London was formerly located.
Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco
HKETO in Singapore, on the 34th floor of the office building at Suntec City Tower 2.
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in the Dupont Circle neighbourhood of Washington, D.C.
HKETO in San Francisco, United States.
HKETO in Toronto, Canada.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official report of proceedings, 16 June 1982, Legislative Council
  2. ^ Official report of proceedings, 11 November 1982, Legislative Council
  3. ^ "【壹錘】部門開心慶金禧 梁特竟斥「特區僅18年」 | 蘋果日報 | 要聞港聞 | 20150904". Archived from the original on 7 September 2015.
  4. ^ The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Act 1996
  5. ^ Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Privileges and Immunities Order
  6. ^ "Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government". www.legislation.gov.au. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Exclusive: Inside the Hong Kong govt's multi-million dollar US lobbying operation". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 19 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Exclusive: Hong Kong gov't spent millions on failed lobbying bid to defeat Washington's Human Rights and Democracy Act". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 19 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  9. ^ Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Privileges and Immunities) Regulations 1996 No. 334
  10. ^ LCQ14: Privileges and immunities granted to Hong Kong ETOs, Government Information Centre, 24 November 2010
  11. ^ Official Opening Ceremony of the HKETO, Berlin,
  12. ^ "HKETO Brussels". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  13. ^ "Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London - About Us". Archived from the original on 12 January 2005.
  14. ^ Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong
  15. ^ "Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Bangkok commences operation (With photos/Video)".
  16. ^ "Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin". Archived from the original on 13 May 2012.
  17. ^ "HKETO Brussels - Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office".
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Dubai commences operation (With photos/Video)".
  20. ^ "Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London - About Us". Archived from the original on 12 January 2005.
  21. ^ "Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in the United States". Archived from the original on 17 October 2004.
  22. ^ "Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office San Francisco". Archived from the original on 17 October 2004.
  23. ^ "Hketo Singapore".
  24. ^ HK's Taiwan trade office opens

External links[edit]