Today, I am pleased to welcome a delegation from the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, led by Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States, Clement C.M. Leung, JP.
Mr. Leung is the most senior representative of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in North America. As Commissioner, he directs the Hong Kong Government’s efforts in promoting U.S.-Hong Kong economic and trade ties, and constituency-building activities in the United States. He also oversees the work of the three Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices in Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco.
Salt Lake City is not only the economic capital of the state; we are the “Crossroads of the West,” located almost equidistant from all major Western U.S. markets. Salt Lake City boasts full-service customs port of entry, a strategically located Foreign Trade Zone, and a road, rail, and air infrastructure that make it an ideal distribution point for goods destined to West Coast, Eastern, and Midwestern terminals.
Attracting foreign trade, international business, and promoting Utah products to international markets is a key priority for my administration. In order to continue our success in an increasingly global economy, we must align our city resources toward economic development. A large component of this will come from the creation of a Department of Business and Economic Development, which I am proposing for adoption in the upcoming budget. Last month, I was joined by business and economic leaders in our city and state, including GOED, WTC, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, to announce the launch of this endeavor. These local leaders are looking forward to a strong working relationship with the city and the cabinet-level leader who will lead this effort. By working with local businesses and building relationships worldwide, we can present Salt Lake City as a progressive, multi-lingual, and business-friendly environment to work and live. We look forward to enhancing our relationship with Hong Kong and other countries throughout the world.
As part of our meeting, I will present the delegation with a small gift of Utah-made chocolate bars from Solstice Chocolate. Salt Lake City is part of a growing market for gourmet, bean-to-bar chocolate produced by creative companies and entrepreneurs who love their work and are nurturing their own American dream. This chocolate renaissance is just one example of the ingenuity we can harness to make Salt Lake City a truly global brand, bringing increased opportunity to our great city.