On behalf of the Government of Canada and all my colleagues, I am pleased to welcome you to the website of the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong and Macao. It is a great honour to represent Canada in this dynamic market.
For almost a century now, Canada’s relations with Hong Kong and Macao have flourished on a rich heritage of people-to-people ties. These are acutely called to mind by the sacrifices made by many Canadian women and men during the 1941 Battle of Hong Kong. Today, a little more than 70 years after this difficult period of its history, Hong Kong hosts one of the largest Canadian communities abroad, with an estimated 295,000 citizens living here. The presence of such a large Canadian community generates an impressive realm of opportunities. It also means that our Consulate General is the largest Canadian passport producing office outside Canada, with an average of 23,000 passports processed every year. It is also important to note that 500,000 people of Hong Kong descent live in Canada and contribute every day to Canada’s cultural mosaic and prosperity.
So what do these numbers show? They reveal that the connections between Hong Kong and Canada spread across a multitude of areas, from commerce to health, from education to good governance. It is upon this base that my team and I are looking at bringing our partnership to an all-new level. A partnership that, while building on existing commonalities, reflects the fact that Asia is a key priority for our country and the important role that both Hong Kong and Macao continue to play in this regard.
A key part of this partnership is the strong and ever expanding bilateral trade and investment relationship that Canada enjoys with Hong Kong and Macao and which contributes to economic growth and job creation on both sides of the Pacific. Canadian companies and entrepreneurs are enjoying continued success in a wide variety of sectors such as financial services, agri-food, transportation, clean-tech, and information and communications technologies, with many also leveraging Hong Kong's regional role to pursue opportunities in Mainland China and in other parts of Asia. As a result, Canadian direct investment in Hong Kong has now reached CAD 8.1 billion. Meanwhile, Canada has been rated by organisations such as Forbes Magazine and the Economist Intelligence Unit as the best place for doing business among the G-7 in 2011. In this regard, we look forward to working with companies to explore opportunities for investment in Canada.
Another aspect of this partnership is the fact that Canada and Hong Kong share an important Commonwealth heritage. This materializes through our deep respect for the rule of law and the need for an independent judiciary, sound economic and fiscal governance, as well as our respect for fundamental freedoms. While witnessing every day the effectiveness of the One Country Two Systems policy, we will continue to support Hong Kong as it evolves towards a system of greater democratic governance, including the implementation of universal suffrage for the election of its Chief Executive in 2017 and Legislative Council in 2020.
Our ability to enhance our partnership also rests on the whole-of-government approach taken by my entire team. The Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macao actively covers bilateral political affairs, economic development, trade and investment, public affairs, consular and immigration services, policing cooperation and migration integrity efforts. I encourage you to further explore the services we provide on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians through this website.
J. Ian Burchett
Consul General of Canada Hong Kong and Macao
James Ian Burchett (BA Honours [Political Science], Queen’s University, 1982; MA [Public Administration], Carleton University, 1985). Prior to joining External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1990, he worked as a legislative assistant to a member of parliament, as an Interchange Canada officer with the Public Service Commission, and as a commerce officer in Industry Canada’s Service Industries Bureau. Mr. Burchett has served abroad as trade commissioner in Kingston, head of the Investment Promotion Program at the Canadian consulate general in New York City, counsellor (public and cultural affairs) at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, and most recently minister-counsellor (congressional and legal affairs) and deputy head of the Washington Secretariat at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C. He also opened the Canadian consulate in Monterrey, Mexico. At Headquarters, he has worked in divisions responsible for further advancing Canadian trade and economic interests with the Middle East and Gulf states, China, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea. He also served as director of the Media Relations Office and director general of the Communications Bureau (Foreign Affairs). In 1994, he received the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers award. He has also received the Public Service Award of Excellence for support to the Government of Canada’s response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and for the Canadian response to consular emergencies in 2009. Mr. Burchett succeeds Doreen Steidle.