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SCS's speech at National Day Reception


Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Joseph W P Wong, at the Hong Kong Civil Service Organisations' Cocktail Reception to celebrate the 54th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China (September 25):

Mr Tung, Mr Gao, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the Hong Kong Civil Service Organisations' cocktail reception to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. To the people of Hong Kong, including the civil service, the anniversary this year bears particular significance.

First of all, our new state leadership was elected at the National People's Congress convened in March this year. Premier Wen Jiabao, soon after taking office, came to Hong Kong to attend the 6th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and meet people from various strata of our community. His visit has fully demonstrated how much our country values and cherishes the people of Hong Kong. Witnessed by Premier Wen, CEPA - Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement - was signed in Hong Kong by officials from both the Central People's Government and the Government of the HKSAR. This will open up a win-win situation, heralding our further economic integration with the Mainland. Hong Kong can also take advantage of the ample business opportunities unveiled on the Mainland to reinvigorate its economy and boost economic growth. Upon the launching of "individual visits" by various cities since July, more Mainland visitors can now come to Hong Kong on their own, benefiting our catering, retail and other sectors. In taking forward the details of CEPA and coping with the ever-increasing number of Mainland visitors, our civil service has demonstrated its professionalism and played an active role to ensure that Hong Kong remains a business-friendly and peaceful city.

As a matter of fact, our country has been rendering us staunch support to implement "one country, two systems" since reunification. The past six years have seen trials and challenges. The outbreak of SARS in mid-March this year is one example. Faced with the unprecedented threats of this plague, our frontline medical and health care officers remained dedicated to their profession, setting a good example of selfless sacrifice. Civil servants from various departments also offered every kind of assistance in their own capacity. When Hong Kong was affected by this epidemic disease, our country bestowed upon us its blessing and provided us with different kinds of medical resources and protective outfit. With the support of the entire community, we won the battle against SARS and our economy has gradually resumed the path of recovery. We all remember that President Hu Jintao has highly commended our medical and health care officers, our civil servants as well as people from various sectors for their contributions and efforts in guarding against SARS. To prevent resurgence of the disease, all necessary precautions have already been taken.

As members of the Hong Kong community, we feel in every way the care and support of our country and take pride in its phenomenal developments and achievements. I believe that when their contribution is called for, the people of Hong Kong will all be ready to fulfill their obligations as nationals for the good of our country and its people. As members of the civil service, we must, as always, endeavour to support the policy implementation of our Government and remain committed to serving the community, hence giving full play to our strengths in efficiency, integrity and professionalism.

In closing, may I wish our country continued prosperity and Hong Kong economy a full recovery. It is our common hope that both the Mainland and Hong Kong will have a brighter future and scale new heights. Thank you very much.

End/Thursday, September 25, 2003


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