CE's Office responds to a report about CE's visit to the Middle East in 2008

     In response to a media report that the Chief Executive had travelled on a private jet to the Middle East in early 2008, the Chief Executive's Office today (February 26) gave the following clarification:

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, led a high-level delegation comprising members from the Trade Development Council and the business sector to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates between January 25 and February 1, 2008.  The objectives of the trip were to introduce Hong Kong's strengths and attractiveness as an international financial centre to business and political leaders in the Middle East, as well as the city's role as a gateway to the Mainland market.  That was an official visit. During the visit, the Chief Executive met with senior government officials and business leaders, addressed several business luncheons and witnessed the signing of a letter of intent to strengthen the trade relations between Hong Kong and Kuwait. Details of the visit are set out in the seven press releases issued by the Chief Executive's Office between January 14 and January 31, 2008.

     During the visit, the whole delegation accepted an invitation by the King of Kuwait to travel from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia on a jet arranged by the King, and another invitation by a member of the Saudi Arabia royal family to travel on a jet arranged by him from Dubai back to Hong Kong.

     The delegation comprised some government officials.  The concerned officials had obtained permission from the Chief Executive before accepting the above invitations in accordance with the standing guidelines.

Ends/Sunday, February 26, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:38