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2007-08 Policy Address by Chief Executive (1) (with video)

    Following is the full text of the 2007-08 Policy Address - A New Direction for Hong Kong - by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (October 10):

Madam President,

A. Introduction

1. This is my first Policy Address following my re-election as Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It sets out the blueprint for the Third Term Government of the HKSAR in the next five years. I have prepared this Address with full confidence in the future of Hong Kong.

Full Confidence

2. I am confident because Hong Kong's economy is back on track, registering rapid growth over the past 15 quarters. The three years from 2004 to 2006 saw average annual growth of 7.7%. The first half of 2007 saw further growth of 6.3%. The unemployment rate has dropped from 8.6% in mid-2003 to 4.2%. While inflation has edged up recently, it is still relatively mild. I will pay close attention to its implications on the livelihood of the low-income group. That said, incomes have generally risen, and I believe that the community at large is feeling more prosperous.

3. I am confident because Hong Kong people have overcome the confusion and anxiety about their future, which was once shrouded in uncertainty. In the 10 years since reunification, we have experienced various ups and downs. And when we found our footing, we were no longer the same: we now have a stronger faith in the future, are more confident and know where we are going.

4. I am confident because after 10 years of implementing "One Country, Two Systems" the advantages are there for all to see. Only through leveraging the strengths of our country can we position ourselves globally to create a better future.

A New Era

5. The rise of our country bring new opportunities. It also ushers in a new era for Hong Kong. Over the next five years, we need to cultivate a new spirit for these new times. We need to become new Hongkongers, better equipped to sustain developments in the new era. New opportunities do not bring about wealth and prosperity overnight. Only by integrating emerging opportunities with our own personal improvement can we aspire to sustained prosperity and progress. To capitalise on these opportunities, we all have to set new goals. We need vision but, more importantly, we need practical plans to achieve that vision.

New Goals

6. I will insist on promoting economic development as our primary goal. The reason is simple. Without economic prosperity, people cannot make a decent living and all visions are just empty talk. And even during the good times we must continue to make progress by achieving our targets in a step-by-step pragmatic manner. We must not engage in empty talk about ideals, in the vain hope of achieving everything in one go.

7. I will insist that our development be sustainable, balanced and diversified. While the economy powers ahead, we must take care of environmental protection and cultural conservation to offer our people a quality city life.

8. I will insist that development brings about social harmony, with different strata of people sharing the fruits. I will devote myself to facilitating social mobility, helping the poor, creating job opportunities and promoting a caring culture in the community.

9. These three guiding principles embody the overall goals of Hong Kong. They will ultimately lead Hong Kong to become the most advanced and harmonious city of our country, as well as a global metropolis offering quality life.

(To be continued)

Ends/Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Issued at HKT 11:08


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