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Hong Kong boosts legal hub role

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Secretary for Justice leads an HKTDC-organised delegation to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


With its wide range of legal expertise, services and talents, Hong Kong is developing into a legal, deal-making and dispute resolution hub in the Asia-Pacific, as part of the Hong Kong SAR Government’s eight-centre strategy.

To promote the city’s legal and dispute resolution services and strengthen bilateral cooperation, Hong Kong SAR Secretary for Justice Paul Lam last week led a delegation of legal professionals, government officials and business leaders to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The delegation comprised over 30 legal professionals, including key members of the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bar Association, as well as representatives from business sector.

The visit was organised by the Hong Kong SAR Department of Justice, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Dubai and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

The Middle East business community was eager to network with the Hong Kong delegation and understand more about Hong Kong’s legal services and role as an international finance and business hub.

Mr Lam told participants at a luncheon in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, that Hong Kong serves as a superconnector with the rest of the world and provides an ideal platform for Middle East businesses.

At a forum in Dubai in the UAE, Mr Lam said that the city's common law system and its top-quality, user-friendly and reliable legal services can offer one-stop services not found elsewhere for overseas businesses to explore investment opportunities in China and beyond.

Addressing a luncheon following the forum, Mr Lam emphasised Hong Kong’s role as a common law gateway to China, and especially the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Spelling out why Hong Kong would be a smart choice for connecting with China, he said: “The Hong Kong legal system is stable, trustworthy, business friendly, secure and provides good connections to China and beyond.”

The forum attracted more than 300 participants, including key figures from government and business.

Mr Justice Omar Al Mheiri, Director of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, and CM Chan, President of the Law Society of Hong Kong, signed an MoU during the visit to facilitate knowledge sharing, training programmes and mutually supportive initiatives.

Mr Chan said the signing underscored a shared belief in the power of international cooperation and exchange to strengthen the legal frameworks of both places.

Mr Justice Al Mheiri said the MoU highlighted the importance of connectivity: “Working with global legal bodies fosters exploration of practical synergies and sharing of best practices.”

The visit gave delegates a better understanding of the local business environment and helped them expand business connections. During the trip, the HKTDC arranged meetings with local chambers, including Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Chambers and Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  HSBC also gave the delegation a market briefing at Abu Dhabi to discuss on-the-ground intelligence and hosted a luncheon to help delegates network with the local business community.

HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Dr Patrick Lau, who was among the delegates, said the visit to Saudi Arabia and UAE, a follow-up of the high-level mission led by Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive John Lee last year, was very fruitful and helped expand bilateral dialogue and business collaboration, especially in the legal field.

Key HKTDC events addressing legal services for mainland and overseas trade and investment include the Resolve2Win GBA, which will be held in collaboration with the Hong Kong SAR Department of Justice on 6-8 August, and the Belt and Road Summit, which will next be held on 11-12 September.

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