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CS starts visit to Europe (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, visited Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Brussels, Belgium on May 3 and 4 (Brussels time) to begin her seven-day visit to Europe.

     After landing at Amsterdam on Sunday (May 3) morning (Amsterdam time), Mrs Lam met with the newly-elected board members of the Netherlands Hong Kong Society to discuss the latest developments in Hong Kong. She encouraged the Society to continue to play an active role in promoting the bilateral economic and trade ties between Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

     Mrs Lam then met with the Hong Kong community in the Netherlands before departing for Brussels, Belgium where she met with members of the Hong Kong community in Belgium immediately upon arrival. During these sessions, Mrs Lam briefed the attendees on the latest developments in Hong Kong, with particular reference to the Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents which was launched today (May 4). She encouraged Hong Kong people residing in these two countries to look for opportunities in Hong Kong and consider moving back. "Hong Kong is an excellent place for talents and entrepreneurs to expand their business or to develop their career by taking advantage of the growing Mainland and Asian markets. We encourage the second generation of Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents who have emigrated overseas to return to Hong Kong and grasp the opportunities there," she said.

     Mrs Lam then visited the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels to learn more about Belgium's comic art, which is regarded as an icon of Belgian culture and is highly popular around the world, before attending a dinner hosted by Mr Qu Xing, Chinese Ambassador to Belgium.

     On Monday (May 4) morning, Mrs Lam met with the Head of Mission of the Peopleˇ¦s Republic of China to the European Union, Ms Yang Yanyi, to provide an update on the bilateral relations between Hong Kong and the European Union. She then met with the Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness of the European Commission (EC), Mr Jyrki Katainen, to explore opportunities for furthering the economic, trade and investment ties between Hong Kong and the European Union, including how Hong Kong can contribute to the success of the European Union Investment Plan. She also met with the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the EC, Mr Karmenu Vella. During the meeting, Mrs Lam shared with Mr Vella the initiatives that Hong Kong has put in place to improve air quality and enhance waste management, and to strengthen Hong Kong's role as an international maritime centre by providing further high-value added services for the shipping sector.

     Mrs Lam then gave a speech at a business luncheon attended by the board members of the Belgium - Hong Kong Society, Belgian Foreign Trade Agency and the business community in Belgium. She told attendees about the latest economic developments in Hong Kong and the opportunities arising from China's Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road programmes as well as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank initiative.

     In the afternoon, Mrs Lam met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Work, Economic Affairs and Consumer Affairs of Belgium, Mr Kris Peeters, to enhance bilateral ties. "Belgium and Hong Kong share a lot of similarities, with Belgium as the gateway to Europe and Hong Kong as the gateway to Asia. Both have a highly international population and welcome entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. There are certainly room for cooperation on various fronts," she said.

     Mrs Lam will meet with members of the European Parliament (EP) at a reception co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels and the EP - Hong Kong Friendship Group and update them on the latest political and economic developments in Hong Kong, before departing for Dublin, Ireland in the evening.

Ends/Monday, May 4, 2015
Issued at HKT 22:59


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