The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, tonight (Nov 3, UK time) outlined seven forward-looking measures the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is undertaking to prepare for the next century.
Delivering the keynote address to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's annual dinner, he said, "We are targeting seven areas of Hong Kong's economic fabric to strengthen our systems and to introduce bold initiatives as we position ourselves to lead the region into the 21st Century," he told the audience in London's Dorchester Hotel.
"We'are revitalising the banking sector, reforming the securities and futures markets, revamping the public sector, liberalising telecommunications, transforming tourism and recreation, cleaning up the environment and hitching a ride on the information superhighway."
The Financial Secretary called this the "dance of the seven veils" with a new and stronger Hong Kong being revealed as each layer was stripped away.
Mr Tsang said he was delighted by the government's agreement with the Walt Disney Company to build a major theme park on Lantau Island.
"It's a good deal for Hong Kong," he said. "We can afford it. And it will have tremendous benefits not only for the economy but the enjoyment it will bring to millions of people in Asia."
Earlier in the final working day of his successful visit to London and Birmingham, the Financial Secretary lunched with the Governor of the Bank of England, Mr Eddie George, and called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Gordon Brown.
Mr Tsang briefed Mr Brown and Mr George on the latest economic situation in Hong Kong, and the on-going reforms in the financial and banking sectors. They also exchanged views on the progress of economic recovery in Asia, and the need for reform in the international financial infrastructure.
Addressing the Confederation of British Industry in Birmingham yesterday (Nov 2, UK time) Mr Tsang stressed the need for governments and economic authorities to heed the lessons of the recent global financial crisis.
He said they should go all the way - do "the full Monty" - in reforming and reviewing international financial arrangements.
Mr Tsang will leave for Ireland early tomorrow where he will tour a new high-technology park, and meet leading business people and senior government officials, including the Deputy Prime Minister, Mrs Mary Harney, who is also the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
He will address the Dublin Chamber of Commerce on Friday after calling on the Governor of the Bank of Ireland, Mr Maurice O'Connell, and meeting the Foreign Minister, Mr David Andrews.
Photo:The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, was the keynote speaker at a dinner hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on November 3, the last working day of his successful visit to London and Birmingham. Picture shows (from left to right): Chairman of HKTDC, Mr Victor Fung; British Consul-General of Hong Kong, Sir Andrew Burns; Mr Tsang and Executive Director of HKTDC, Mr Michael Sze.
End/Thursday, November 4, 1999