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Transcript of remarks by CS on the Budget (with video)

    Following is the transcript of remarks at a media session by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Rafael Hui, on the 2007-2008 Budget at the Legislative Council Building this (February 28) afternoon (English portion):

Chief Secretary for Administration: I think this Budget is a clear demonstration of the skills and ability of the Financial Secretary, in that while without compromising in any way the very important principle of prudent financial management, without compromising this in any way, he has also achieved another very important objective of returning some of the wealth to the people. This is not, in fact, an easy task, but I think he has done it and it is demonstrative of a very high degree of skills of the Financial Secretary and his team. One reason why he has been able to achieve this, of course, is the tremendous growth in the economy that we have witnessed in the past two years. And in this connection we have to be thankful to all members of the community, irrespective of their background and profession, in bouncing back from the trough of 2003 to achieve the degree of economic recovery that we have attained today. Without that it is not possible for the Financial Secretary to devise the kind of Budget that he has presented today. And his Budget, of course, as you all can see, benefits almost all sectors of the community. The second reason, again pointed out in his speech, has been the ability of the Government, in particular the civil service, to contain expenditure and contain its growth. It has not been achieved easily over the past two years and we have to be very grateful - I certainly am very grateful - to the support and co-operation given by my colleagues and all members of the civil service. Let us take a lesson from this, and the lesson is this, is that even in times of great adversity we must never give up. Hong Kong always bounces back and we have bounced back. If you look at the mid-term forecast of the Financial Secretary in his Budget, the next few years also he is very optimistic in terms of our economic growth and our surpluses. All these are achieved because of the contributions made by Hong Kong people, by the community as a whole. I am sure we will all continue with our efforts in our future development.

Reporter: Are you optimistic about economic growth, given that the Stock Market ... forward these days... global adjustment.

Chief Secretary for Administration: Speaking personally and given my previous background and experience in this sector, this is not something new. This is something we have witnessed time and again in the past. Adjustments will happen from time to time, there will be ups and downs. I, for one, do not consider the latest adjustments in the global financial markets in any way will affect the medium-term forecast of the Financial Secretary as set out in his Budget.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:01


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