CS continues visit to Europe (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, began her visit to Dublin, Ireland, today (May 5, Dublin time) after her visit to Brussels, Belgium. She called on senior officials, visited an information and communications technology (ICT) facility, spoke to university students and will officiate at a dinner with the Irish business community.

     In the morning, Mrs Lam visited the Centre for Digital Content Platform Research (ADAPT), an ICT facility based at Dublin City University, to learn about its latest research in media, digital content and user interactions, and the use of technology as an education tool.

     Speaking during the visit, Mrs Lam said, "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to promoting the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong. Innovation and technology have great potential in providing diversity to Hong Kong's economy, offering wider and higher quality employment opportunities in research and development, particularly for young people, improving daily living and enhancing the competitiveness and growth of related industries.

     "Ireland's innovation and technology sector is world-renowned. The Irish Government has provided funding support for research centres to support cutting-edge research in critical and emerging sectors of the economy which are key for job creation in Ireland. There is much for us to learn from the success of Ireland's development in innovation and technology, in particular ICT."

     Mrs Lam then met with the Provost and President of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast, to learn about the university's strengths and explore possible areas for collaboration, before delivering a lunchtime talk to around 100 of its academic staff and students. In her presentation, Mrs Lam highlighted Hong Kong's strengths under "One Country, Two Systems", the challenges that Hong Kong is facing and the opportunities that lie ahead. Mrs Lam encouraged the students to learn more about Hong Kong, which is the gateway to Mainland China, and to tap into the opportunities here.

     Mrs Lam then called on the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, and provided an update on the latest developments in Hong Kong and our priorities in developing Hong Kong's economy. She then met with the Minister for Finance, Mr Michael Noonan, and told him about the acute demographic challenges faced by Hong Kong and their possible impact on public finance, the growing opportunities in Renminbi-related businesses and Hong Kong's position as an international financial centre and offshore Renminbi centre.

     Mrs Lam also mentioned the huge success of the Working Holiday Scheme with Ireland, which was the first of 10 such schemes established. The annual Irish quota of 100 students each year has always been fully taken up and in March 2015 the Hong Kong Labour Department proposed to its Irish counterparts that the reciprocal quotas be increased.

     Mrs Lam then met with the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Heather Humphreys, and they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cultural co-operation.

     In the evening, Mrs Lam will meet with China's Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Xu Jianguo, and will officiate and deliver a speech at a dinner organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels in collaboration with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. She will depart for Rome, Italy tomorrow (May 6, Dublin time).

Ends/Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Issued at HKT 23:45