New German envoy seeks closer business ties with Hong Kong at Unity Day celebration

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The Day of German Unity reception was held yesterday (9 October) and, like in previous years, the welcoming speech did not fail to bring laughters while keeping current affairs in mind with optimism.

Leading the celebration was Dieter Lamlé, the new German Consul General to Hong Kong who just arrived two and a half months ago. Prior to his current post, he was Regional Director for Latin America and the

Caribbean at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Before that, he also served in the German overseas commissions in Erbil and Lima.

After an initial and successful attempt to impress the floor by greeting them in Cantonese, Lamlé turned to a more serious topic of the German federal election held in late September.

As Lamlé put it, the rise of right-wing group Alternative für Deutschland “should not be exaggerated” with a ruling coalition of more than two parties in the Bundestag within sight. “There is no doubt that Germany will have a strong and reliable government [and] we will continue to assume our international and European responsibilities,” he stated.

Lamlé then moved on to hail the bilateral relationship of Germany and Hong Kong as “not just excellent partners but good friends”, noting that there are now more than 600 German companies in Hong Kong with positive prospects. He also proposed to create a special committee to organise regular meetings with respective Hong Kong government and business authorities to foster the ties particularly in regard to the Belt and Road and Bay Area initiatives.

Welcoming Lamlé on stage was Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, the Guest of Honour of the night. Cheung called on the audience to stay tuned with Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s maiden policy address set for Wednesday. His closing remarks on the “exciting document” was briefly interrupted when a guest collapsed and required emergent treatment. Dr Ulrike Lamlé, the Consul General’s spouse and herself a medical practitioner, was quick to help the guest who soon recovered.