Press Release



Chief Executive speaks to media on Budget


The following is the transcript (English part) of the remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, to the media on the Budget Speech delivered by the Financial Secretary today (March 7) :

The Budget presented by the Financial Secretary today is one which builds on the foundation of Hong Kong's economic recovery and which brings us forward into the new century.

Hong Kong has recovered very well from the Asian financial crisis. Our economic growth for the year 2000 is 10.5 per cent, one of the best in Asia. Growth is expected to continue at 4 per cent for the year of 2001. International investors have continued to demonstrate confidence in Hong Kong. Aside from the Mainland, investments by international companies in Hong Kong exceed those in other Asian economies. The number of regional headquarters and offices established in Hong Kong increased by 20 per cent last year.

To maintain Hong Kong's pre-eminent position as an international financial centre, to sustain our economic growth and to protect the overall interest of the community, the Budget complies with our long standing prudent financial principles. At the same time, adequate resources have been made available to meet the community's needs in the areas of education, medical and health, and welfare, housing and other public services.

I just returned from Beijing yesterday. The 10th Five-Year Plan presented by the Premier to the National People's Congress has set a blueprint for national development. Today's Budget builds on the strengths of Hong Kong as an international financial, services and trading centre. It complements the national development strategy. It also sets out clearly the strategy for Hong Kong to take advantage of China's accession to the World Trade Organisation.

I trust that this Budget will receive wide community support.

End/Wednesday, March 7, 2001