CS continues visit to Europe (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, continued her visit in Berlin, Germany, today (May 21, Berlin time). She visited heritage projects, met with senior officials and officiated at the Opening Night of the Hong Kong Film Festival.  
     In the morning, Mrs Lam visited the German Historical Museum, which has undergone large-scale restoration and reconstruction. She also had a tour at the Bundestag, the lower house of the Parliament of Germany. Both buildings are good examples of integration of old and new elements in a heritage building.  

     Mrs Lam then attended a meeting with the State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, Dr Markus Ederer. Views were exchanged on a wide range of topics including Hong Kong's role in the internationalisation of renminbi, the increased travel convenience under the automated immigration clearance service agreement on a mutual basis, the popularity of the Working Holiday Scheme amongst Hong Kong youngsters on which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) would like to see an increased quota, negotiations on a Comprehensive Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation, etc. Mrs Lam also took the opportunity to briefly update Dr Ederer on the public consultation on constitutional development in Hong Kong. She stressed that the Central Authorities and the HKSARG are fully committed to achieving universal suffrage in the selection of the Chief Executive in 2017 in accordance with the Basic Law.

     Mrs Lam told Dr Ederer that Hong Kong and Germany already enjoy solid bilateral relations in trade and investment and German companies have a very strong presence in Hong Kong, with 81 regional headquarters, 133 regional offices and 113 local offices. She introduced the opportunities in the areas of financial services, infrastructure, innovation and technology as well as creative industries, and encouraged more German companies to explore business opportunities in Hong Kong.

     Mrs Lam and the delegation then joined a lunch hosted by the Chinese Ambassador to Germany, Mr Shi Mingde, followed by a visit to Tempelhof, a former airport which has been transformed into a creative incubator for Berlin.

     Mrs Lam then met with the Federal Minister of Finance, Mr Wolfgang Schäuble, to hear about Germany's experience in coping with Eurozone crisis and the Minister's outlook on Germany's economic growth. Both sides were pleased that Hong Kong and Germany have agreed to commence discussions on a Comprehensive Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation with a first meeting scheduled for the latter part of June. Mrs Lam also invited Mr Schäuble or his colleagues to attend a future Asian Financial Forum to be held in Hong Kong.

     In the evening, Mrs Lam will officiate and deliver a speech at the Opening Night of the Hong Kong Film Festival to promote the film industry of Hong Kong. The film featured in the Opening Night was "Unbeatable".

     Mrs Lam will continue her visit in Berlin tomorrow (May 22, Berlin time). She will visit cultural facilities as well as meet with senior officials and Members of the Parliament. She will depart for Frankfurt in the evening.  

Ends/Thursday, May 22, 2014
Issued at HKT 00:04