For Immediate Release: October 18, 2011
Contact: Tim Truman (202) 482-3809
Senior Obama Administration Official Presents Prestigious Export Award, Concludes Trade MIssion in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Trade Development Council Executive Director Fred Lam Honored at Luncheon with the historic Peace through Commerce Award
HONG KONG – U.S. Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez concluded his biotechnology life sciences trade mission to China today by presenting Fred Lam, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) with the Peace through Commerce Award during his remarks at a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.
“I’m proud to honor Fred Lam today for his decades of service and his pioneering efforts with the groundbreaking Pacific Bridge Initiative (PBI),” Sánchez said. “The PBI has been a win-win collaboration for America and Hong Kong. It’s helping us to achieve President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goals, and supporting Hong Kong’s efforts to be the pre-eminent commercial platform for this dynamic part of the world.”
The PBI – introduced nearly a year ago – aims to facilitate U.S.-Hong Kong partnership to explore new markets, particularly in Asia and China, in support of the National Export Initiative. Through the PBI, the HKTDC became the first statutory trade body outside the United States to promote the NEI on a bilateral basis. Since its inception, the PBI has helped triple the number of export transactions to Asia by new-to-market U.S. firms. “Its first-year success has led several other trading partners to consider ‘Bridge Initiatives’ for their own regions,” Sánchez added.
The Peace through Commerce Award – a medal – to recognize an individual, group, or organization, either domestic or abroad, whose actions have significantly promoted and developed U.S. export initiatives, encouraged innovative approaches, and improved overall U.S. trade relations. It dates back to the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the medal in 1790. Jefferson gifted the medal, formerly known as the Diplomatic Medal, to foreign diplomats who aided the Continental Congress during the American Revolution.
During the six-day mission to Beijing and Hong Kong, Sánchez and the delegation met with Chinese government and biotechnology industry officials to discuss opportunities for expanding U.S. exports. Participants also conducted more than 60 one-on-one meetings with biotech firms in Hong Kong.
“The biotech sector can benefit both the economic health and public health of our countries.” Sánchez said during his remarks. “Hong Kong’s excellent business infrastructure, regulatory linkages into the mainland, and growing venture capital community make it a promising market and platform for U.S. firms.”
“The trade mission to China was brilliant!” said Timothy Jablonski, vice president of marketing and international sales for Codonics, Inc. “We got the attention of the important Chinese government officials and local companies that can pave the way for the expansion of our business top to bottom.”
This trade mission advances President Obama’s National Export Initiative which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, supporting economic and job growth.
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