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10th Anniversary of HK's Return Celebration Held in Berlin
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A grand evening was held in Berlin, Germany to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the Chinese motherland, according to news from the Information Services of the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Tuesday.

The event was held on Monday night at Berlin's historic concert hall Konzerthaus by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels. It was the first of three major functions organized by the Brussels ETO in Europe to mark the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

Similar events are to take place at the Brussels opera house Thatre de la Monnaie and the Mus e d'Orsay in Paris.

Actors from the Hong Kong Academy performed Chinese opera, modern dance and music.

In his welcoming address, Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Communities, Duncan Pescod, said that July 1, 1997 was a date that represented the coming of age of the people of Hong Kong.

"On that date, the visionary concept of 'One Country, Two Systems' became reality and Hong Kong people took on responsibility for their own fate."

Pescod said that Hong Kong overcame various difficulties including the property market bust, SARS, and an extended period of deflation. The Heritage Foundation rated Hong Kong in 2007 the world's freest economy, for the 13th year in a row.

Hong Kong's total external trade is 5 trillion Hong Kong dollars (about US$640.20 billion) at present, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has risen to 215,000 Hong Kong dollars (about US$27528 billion).

"There has been a hundred percent growth of trade with the Chinese mainland. The number of mainland firms listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange has grown 360 percent from 101 in 1997 to 367 today, and 40 percent of total foreign direct investment in the Chinese mainland now comes from or through Hong Kong," Pescod said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2007)

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