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CE visits Washington, DC (with photos/video)

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, started the third leg of his visit to the US in Washington, DC, today (November 9, Washington, DC, time).

     In the morning, he attended a working breakfast hosted by the Heritage Foundation, a renowned think tank which has ranked Hong Kong as the world's freest economy for 17 consecutive years since the inception of the Index of Economic Freedom in 1995.

     Mr Tsang then called on the Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, Mr John Thune, and the Senate Majority Whip, Mr Dick Durbin, to update them on Hong Kong's latest developments.

     Addressing a luncheon hosted by the Brookings Institution and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington, DC, the Chief Executive emphasised that Hong Kong's unique strengths and the continuing growth of China's economy would present enormous opportunities in the years ahead.

     The Chief Executive said that the 12th Five-Year Plan, China's blueprint and action agenda for economic and social development for the 2011-15 period, supported Hong Kong's ongoing role as an international financial, trade and shipping centre, adding that it would elevate the city's position in these areas, and boost its role as an international asset management centre and an offshore Renminbi business centre.

     "That is actually pretty good news for US companies too, because US investment in Hong Kong is strong in the areas of banking, insurance, securities and futures trading, manufacturing, wholesale and retail as well as import/export trades," he said.

     "Looking ahead, Hong Kong will consolidate its role as a global centre of finance and banking, logistics, business services and tourism.

     "We have been given a spearhead role in the internationalisation of the Renminbi, which in turn will help our country to continue with the reforms and opening up of its banking and financial services sectors.

     "Hopefully, over time, it will provide an additional monetary resource that will help address some of the imbalances that have surfaced here in the US and more lately in Europe," he said.

     In the afternoon, Mr Tsang met the Deputy Secretary of State, Mr William Burns, to discuss issues of mutual concern.

     The Chief Executive will depart for Honolulu on November 10 to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting.

Ends/Thursday, November 10, 2011
Issued at HKT 12:02


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