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Presentation showcases Hong Kong-France business links

Paris, 2 October 2018: Boase Cohen & Collins Senior Partner Colin Cohen has highlighted Hong Kong’s close business and cultural ties with France during a presentation to lawyers in Paris.

In his talk, he pointed out that trade between the two jurisdictions has reached record levels while the French community in Hong Kong is rapidly expanding, meaning there is an increased requirement for cross-border legal work.

“France is Hong Kong's third largest merchandise trade partner within the European Union. Last year, bilateral merchandise trade totalled US$11 billion, an increase of nearly 14% over 2016,” Mr Cohen told his audience.

“Included in this was Hong Kong’s considerable taste for French wine. Imports of wine from France exceeded US$900 million in 2017 – a 700% increase over the past decade – and France now has a 60% share of Hong Kong’s total wine imports.

“Around 800 French companies have a presence in Hong Kong, including 170 with regional headquarters in the city. It is estimated there are now 25,000 French nationals living in Hong Kong, double the amount 10 years ago. The French population is the fastest expanding expatriate community in the city, growing at 5% year on year.”

Mr Cohen made his remarks to a gathering of 25 legal professionals at Alerion, one of France’s foremost independent law firms. His comments came during a presentation about China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and the opportunities it offers to both France and Hong Kong.

His visit coincided with Alerion hosting the Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Meeting of Ally Law, the international legal network in which Boase Cohen & Collins is Hong Kong’s sole member. Mr Cohen stayed for the conference and later chaired a meeting of the organisation’s Expansion Committee.

He added: “While we have our own Asia Pacific Regional Meeting coming up in Vietnam, it is always worthwhile for me to attend Ally Law’s other gatherings around the world, whenever possible, to keep in touch with member firms, obtain feedback and understand their requirements.”

Mr Cohen will lead a delegation from BC&C to the Asia Pacific Regional Meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on 15-17 November. Ally Law’s next AGM is scheduled for March 2019 in New Delhi, India.


Paris was the venue for Ally Law’s 2018 EMEA Regional Meeting, hosted by law firm Alerion.