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Transcript of CE's press conference on Policy Address (with photos)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, at the press conference on Policy Address at Central Government Offices, Tamar today (October 12):

     Good afternoon, everyone.

     Today I delivered my last and perhaps the longest Policy Address. It bears the title "From Strength to Strength".  I am confident we can embrace any challenges ahead on the solid foundations we have laid over the years.

     Members of the public expect this Government to be more than just a "caretaker". They have high expectations on us. And rightly so. They expect us to tackle various pressing issues. That's why I have focused on three major issues of the greatest public concern -- housing, the cost of living and an ageing population.

     I have tried to explain thoroughly the position of the Government, and to put forward strategies in the short, medium and long terms. I have also sought to outline what I consider to be the biggest challenge further down the road.

     My colleagues and I have done our utmost in drafting this policy blue print. We'll make the best out of the remainder of our term to get the jobs in hand done.

     It is up to the public to judge how we have fared. But I can say, hand on heart, that I have always be truthful to myself and to the people of Hong Kong throughout my long years in public service.

     Thank you very much.

Reporter: I hope you'll take some comfort in the thought that this is the last time you'll have to answer a question in English after a Policy Address. My question is this: You've got nine months left, roughly. You say you don't want to have a caretaker administration and that people don't want a caretaker administration, so in that vein, what is the one issue, problem, concern more than any other you would like to make sure is not in your successor's inbox on the day that he or she assumes office?

Chief Executive: Well, first of all, I'm sure it would not be the last time I'd have to answer press questions in English. It will not be the last time that I'll be delivering my speech in English. We are a bilingual society. I will continue to do this.

     There are many pressing things ahead. Some of them can be foreseen, some of them are not. There are a few other things which I certainly don't want my successor to be burdened with. Housing is one issue. I really want to go deep into the issue, explain to our people in Hong Kong the problems confronting us and approaches to resolving those problems. And I think I have done that. But of course, although I may have been able to start resolving those questions, but it will be my successors who need to continue this good work to ensure the Hong Kong people will not be continually concerned about where will they live.

     There is another issue which is very pressing and I certainly do not wish to burden my successor: it's the economic situation facing the world and would likely to impact on Hong Kong. The sovereign debt issue in Europe is getting no solution, and we are looking forward to a radical resolution of the problem we have seen. The recovery in America is very fragile and we haven't seen, again, solution to redressing the deficit issue in America. So we are facing very uncertain times.

     Exports in Hong Kong have fallen quite sharply this month V in fact it is still increasing. When compared with the growth rate it has come down quite markedly. I am worried it will go down further. It will go down further. It is reflecting the absorption capability of Europe and America, which are major markets, and I really hope that I'll be able to help resolve this question when it erupts, but I'm not sure when it will really break. It may break next week, it may break next month, it may break next year, or after the middle of next year, though whatever it is, it is my daily prayer that I'm able to make sure the economy is in good, stable situation when a transition takes place in summer next year.

Reporter: Mr Tsang, I observed you wipe your sweat this morning while you were delivering your speech K twice in fact. I wonder whether this has any implication towards your seven years of CE performance?

Chief Executive: Wiping my sweat is related to the performance of a CE? The sweat was a consequence of four spotlights right at the top of the chamber, shining right on my forehead K and in fact I compliment the Legislative Council in maintaining a very environmentally friendly temperature of 44.5 degrees centigrade. As a result, trying to be decently dressed today, with my jacket on, I felt very warm. And at the same time theres energy generated from inside through the enthusiasm of delivering my speech V and that was the consequence of my sweat. I cannot relate it to any other things. Thank you very much.

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

Ends/Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Issued at HKT 18:09


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