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China and Vietnam to cement tourism ties
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Hong Kong, China and Vietnam could enhance cooperation in logistics and tourism sector to combat the world economic turmoil, said visiting financial chief of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) during a business trip that wrapped up on Wednesday.

John Tsang, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, headed a business delegation to Vietnam to explore the local economic situation and business environment.

He came to Vietnam via land border after visiting China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The road link from Hong Kong to Vietnam via Chinese mainland boasts great potential in developing logistics, said Tsang.

Commodities could travel by Hong Kong, Guangdong province, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and then to Vietnam's Lang Son province through land border, or in the opposite direction from Vietnam to Hong Kong.

Tsang said some Hong Kong business people in the delegation with rich experience in infrastructure construction have expressed interest in cooperating with Vietnamese partners in developing road from Vietnamese border province of Lang Son to Hanoi.

"During our meeting with Vietnamese officials, the Vietnamese government has expressed their welcome to cooperate with Hong Kongside," he said.

Bilateral trade between Hong Kong and Vietnam have developed fast in recent years. According to figures released by the Hong Kong government, bilateral trade topped 3 billion U.S. dollars last year. In the first nine months this year, two-way trade went up by 25 percent year-on-year.

In face of the global economic downturn that have hit the tourism sector hard, Tsang said Hong Kong and Vietnam could join hands to promote a package tour of Hong Kong and Hanoi, which offer quite different experiences for travelers.

Hong Kong and Hanoi are so close. It is closer than from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, said Tsang. It is convenient for international tourists to make a stop at Hanoi and enjoy local scenery and food after their travel in Hong Kong.

The recent launch of daily flight service by Dragonair between Hong Kong and Hanoi would also help improve travel link between the two cities, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2008)

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