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Russia, Hong Kong prepare investment protection agreement — consul general

September 28, 2016, 15:09 UTC+3 HONG KONG

Hong Kong attracts Russian attention both as a traditional gate to China, and as an international financial center and independent market

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HONG KONG, September 28. /TASS/. Russia and Hong Kong are preparing an intergovernmental agreement to be signed on stimulation and mutual protection of investment, Russia’s Consul General in Hong Kong Alexander Kozlov told TASS.

"By now the colleagues from Russia’s Economic Development Ministry and relevant departments in Hong Kong have reached a serious progress regarding accommodation of the text of the agreement and are about to sign the document in the nearest future," he said.

According to Kozlov, Russia’s expert delegations are expected to arrive in the nearest future to discuss the agreement, which will become "a new important regulatory element of the bilateral cooperation in the economic and financial area."

On July 29, the intergovernmental agreement with Hong Kong on avoidance of double taxation came into force, the Consul General said.

"This document is an important component for creation of a favorable background for closer economic cooperation, which Hong Kong businessmen take notice of when considering bilateral projects. The agreement particularly stipulates a number of norms on reducing the debt burden on participants of bilateral trade and economic ties, which will enhance mutual attractiveness of investments," he said.

"Also, at the beginning of the year Hong Kong’s financial regulator fully acknowledged Russia as an eligible jurisdiction, which substantially simplifies the order of placement of Russian issuers’ securities in Hong Kong. Relevant Russia’s and Hong Kong’s companies forecast a surge of investment activity between the two economies in this respect," Kozlov said, adding that "the first results may be expected already in the nearest years."

Political, business ties strengthened

"The relations between Russia and China have reached an unprecedented high as of today, and the deepening of our cooperation with Hong Kong is logically in line with this positive trend. We’re satisfied to note that the political contacts between Russia and Hong Kong are becoming firmer and are of an increasingly regular nature," he said.

International forums organized by the two countries are very convenient platforms for this. Thus, in January of 2016 Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich spoke at the opening of the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong while in May Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev paid a working visit to the country.

Also, Kozlov added, the interest of Russian business circles to Hong Kong has been rising recently though it is "a relatively new partner" for Russian entrepreneurs.

"The interests of Russia in Hong Kong are various but I would first of all point out the moments related to its unique location as an international financial, trade, transport and logistics, educational and tourist center with excellent infrastructure and developed legislation. Also, Hong Kong attracts attention both as a traditional gate to China, and as an international financial center and as an independent market," Kozlov said.

According to the Consul General, Hong Kong has been seeking to take an important niche in implementation of the initiative of the Chinese leadership regarding the creation of the Silk Road Economic Belt, intensify the expansion of the high-tech and innovative sector of its economy, create one of the leading regional centers of legal and arbitration services.

"All this creates a favorable background for it to become one of the benchmarks for the formation of a network of wider economic ties of Russia with the Asian region," he added.

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