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Hong Kong Financial Secretary Celebrates Philippine Independence Day, Highlights Strong Bilateral Ties

Mr Paul Chan, attended the Reception in Celebration of 126th Anniversary of Proclamation of Philippine Independence
Photo shows Mr Chan (second right) with the Consul-General of the Philippines in Hong Kong, Ms Germinia V Aguilar-Usudan (second left); Senator of the Philippines Mr Alan Peter S Cayetano (first right); and the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun (first left), at the reception.

In a heartfelt speech at the 126th anniversary celebration of the Philippines’ proclamation of independence, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan underscored the robust economic and cultural ties between Hong Kong and the Philippines. The event, held on June 12, was attended by notable dignitaries including Consul General Germinia V. Aguilar-Usudan, Philippine Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano, and Director General Wei Wenxiu from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chan lauded Consul General Aguilar-Usudan, who assumed her current role at the end of 2023 after serving five years as Deputy Consul General, for her deep understanding and experience in fostering Hong Kong-Philippines relations.

Economic Partnership and Trade

Chan highlighted the significant trade relationship, noting that Hong Kong was the Philippines’ sixth-largest trading partner and fourth-largest export market last year. He emphasized Hong Kong’s role as a “super connector” and “super value-adder” in the region, facilitating around 11% of total trade between China and the Philippines.

He also pointed to the increasing popularity of Hong Kong as a destination for Filipino business visitors and tourists. Last year, more than 750,000 tourists from the Philippines visited Hong Kong, with numbers more than doubling in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2023. The newly opened “World of Frozen” at Hong Kong Disneyland has become a particular favorite among Filipino tourists.

Investment and Market Opportunities

Chan encouraged more frequent visits and investments, highlighting Hong Kong’s status as a leading international fundraising platform, professional service center, and logistics hub. He invited Filipino and other ASEAN investors to explore new market opportunities in the Greater Bay Area and beyond.

He noted the Philippines’ strong economic performance, citing an Asian Development Bank forecast predicting 6% growth this year and 6.2% next year. He also remarked on the growing economic partnership between Hong Kong and ASEAN, with bilateral trade rising over 20% in value since the 2017 ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade and Investment Agreements.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Chan expressed gratitude for the Philippines’ support in Hong Kong’s bid to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which he believes will further accelerate trade growth. Hong Kong’s early accession to RCEP is expected to enhance regional economic integration and cooperation.

Cultural Ties and Community Contributions

Chan also paid tribute to the 220,000 Filipino nationals residing in Hong Kong, acknowledging their invaluable contributions to the city’s economic vitality and the well-being of its families. Many Filipinos in Hong Kong are regarded as integral members of the local community.


Concluding his address, Chan extended his congratulations to the people of the Philippines on their 126th anniversary of independence and expressed his best wishes for the continued strengthening of ties between Hong Kong and the Philippines.

“On this auspicious occasion, let us congratulate the people of the Philippines for your 126th anniversary of independence, and extend our best wishes to the close ties and bonds between Hong Kong and the Philippines,” Chan said.