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More than 6,000 overseas Hainanese meet in HK to deepen ties

By Carrie Qiu and Ma Zhiping in Hong Kong | | Updated: 2017-12-02 10:04

HONG KONG – More than 6,000 overseas Hainanese from 26 countries and regions gathered in Hong Kong on Friday for their biennial congress to deepen friendship and enhance common development.

Organized by the Hong Kong Federation of Hainan Community Organization, the 15th World Congress of the International Federation of Hainan Associations was convened at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on between November 30 and December 2.

"There are 3.9 million overseas Hainanese worldwide…For a long time, overseas Hainanese not only made great achievements and gained a great deal of respect in their countries of residence, but also devoted their energy and funds to their hometown," said the Governor of Hainan Shen Xiaoming at the opening ceremony on Friday.

He said in Hainan, a lot of old buildings, roads, bridges and schools were built by overseas Hainanese; rubber and coffee were introduced by overseas Hainanese, "the good deeds done by the overseas Hainanese showed their deep affection to their hometown".

Shen also mentioned his meeting with HKSAR's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Thursday, when Lam said she realized how much Hainanese in Hong Kong had contributed to the city after attending the centennial celebration of the Hong Kong Hainan Commercial Association last month.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Hong Kong's Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah said that Hong Kong is one of the largest sources of foreign investment in Hainan.

"The biennial congress is a big event for overseas Hainanese. This year happens to be Hong Kong's 20th anniversary for returning to the motherland. The fact that thousands of overseas Hainanese from over 20 countries and regions chose Hong Kong for this year's gathering is especially meaningful for us," said Lau.

He hoped that both Hainan and Hong Kong can deepen their cooperation and take advantage of the new opportunities brought by the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and the Belt and Road Initiative to achieve win-win development.

This is the second congress of the International Federation of Hainan Associations held in Hong Kong, after its debut in 1995. A Hainan (Hong Kong) investment promotion meeting, an Overseas Hainanese Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition, Hainan opera performances and council meetings will also be held during the two-day congress.

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