Political and Economic Relations
Relations between Hong Kong and the European Union (EU) are based on a high-level annual meeting called the Structured Dialogue between the EU and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSARG). It was started in 2005 to ensure that they would maintain close contacts and develop positive relations.
The 13th Structured Dialogue took place in November 2019 in Hong Kong. The two sides discussed a wide range of subjects to deepen mutual understanding, and identified areas of further cooperation. They released a joint press statement.
The European Commission also produces annual reports on developments in Hong Kong, the most recent of which covers 2020.
Hong Kong is a major trading partner with the EU. The importance of Hong Kong to the EU as a trading partner is not only down to the volume of trade and investment between the two but also because Hong Kong acts as a connecting hub between China and the EU.
The EU is Hong Kong’s second largest trading partner after China. In turn, Hong Kong ranks 17th and 9th among the EU partners for trade in goods and trade in services respectively (2017 figures). In Asia, Hong Kong ranks 6th for goods and 5th for services. The EU enjoys a significant trade in goods surplus with Hong Kong (it's fourth largest in 2017).
Hong Kong's role as a channel to China means it offers high-value opportunities for EU companies. In fact, the EU is the leading source of foreign companies using the Hong Kong-Mainland China Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). Because of the high potential of CEPA, the EU and Hong Kong regularly communicate on CEPA developments and explore ways to maximize the opportunities for EU companies and investors.
Culture and Public Diplomacy Relations
EU diplomatic missions and cultural institutes work closely together with local partners on many people-to-people activities, including the annual EU Film Festival, the European Union Pavilion at the Hong Kong Book Fair, the EU Day of Languages, The "Make Music, Hong Kong" music festival, and many other activities such as school presentations.
In 2021, the EU Office co-organised a school competition with the Native English Teacher Section (NET) of the Education Bureau. Hong Kong school children created short films showing their vision of Europe.
The EU Office regularly hosts events focusing on human rights, including workshops about the ongoing scourge of human trafficking, conferences on women's rights and discussions on LGBTI rights.