The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, followed a busy schedule in London on October 30 and 31 to strengthen economic and trade ties between Hong Kong and the United Kingdom in the last stop of his three-city visit to Paris, Milan and London from October 28 to 31.
Arriving in London yesterday afternoon (October 30, London time), Mr Tsang started his visit programme by calling on the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Mr Liu Xiaoming.
He then met with the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Livingston. Both sides agreed to continue to work together to strengthen collaboration in areas including trade and investment.
In the evening, Mr Tsang attended the Hong Kong Trade Development Council annual dinner, Hong Kong Dinner, and delivered a keynote speech outlining plans for Hong Kong's economic development. This signature event celebrates the long-standing economic and trade relations between Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
A breakfast roundtable meeting was held at the Royal Society this morning (October 31, London time) with the relevant stakeholders in the United Kingdom on how to promote the development of science, innovation and technology.
Mr Tsang then officiated at the exhibition "Tall Storeys: Evolution in Hong Kong Architecture 1965-2014" organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects. The exhibition is a retrospective on Hong Kong's architectural achievements in the past 50 years.
Addressing a luncheon organised by the Hong Kong Association, Mr Tsang talked about the current protests in Hong Kong, saying that the immediate cause of the protests is constitutional reform, in particular, how to nominate candidates for the election of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage in 2017.
"I totally understand the people's desire to elect for themselves and by themselves a leader who is accountable to them. But it seems to me that electing the Chief Executive by means of 5 million voters must be decidedly better than doing so through our current 1 200-committee-member approach.
"The Government will continue to do our best to bridge the divide, to build consensus consistent with the provision of our constitution. We do not underestimate the difficulty of this task. But ultimately it is still up to us, the Hong Kong people, to come together íV to take that giant step forward towards universal suffrage," Mr Tsang said.
With the completion of his three-city visit, Mr Tsang left London in the afternoon and will arrive in Hong Kong tomorrow (November 1).
Ends/Friday, October 31, 2014
Issued at HKT 23:59