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CS starts visit to Singapore (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, began her visit to Singapore yesterday (July 23).  

     On arrival at Singapore yesterday, Mrs Lam attended as the Special Guest of Honour at the Farewell Ceremony of the 14th Singapore-Hong Kong Exchange Programme, which is an annual exchange programme between secondary schools in Hong Kong and Singapore. She dined with participants at a school hall and chatted to those from Hong Kong about their two-week experience in Singapore. This year, around 120 students from both places joined the Exchange Programme. More than 1,600 students from the two places have benefited from the Programme since its inception in 2000.
     Earlier this morning (July 24), Mrs Lam officiated at the opening of the Symposium of the Spotlight Hong Kong in Singapore Festival, which is co-presented by the Fringe Club and the Global Cultural Alliance. At noon, she delivered a speech at a business luncheon co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore, the Hong Kong Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. The luncheon was attended by around 200 representatives from the business community in Hong Kong, Singapore and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.

     Mrs Lam said at the business luncheon, "The Belt-Road initiative offers unlimited growth prospects, boosting the Mainland's global connectivity while promoting economic, political and cultural development among countries on three continents.

     "The opportunities are as big, as ambitious, as the Belt-Road itself. Working together, I'm confident that the professional and financial services sectors of Hong Kong and ASEAN countries have much to contribute and much to gain."

     In the afternoon, Mrs Lam called on Singapore's Minister of Manpower, Mr Lim Swee Say, to discuss issues of mutual concern, such as an ageing population and retirement protection, before meeting the Hong Kong artists participating in the Spotlight Hong Kong in Singapore Festival. Afterwards, she attended a gathering with Hong Kong people living and working in Singapore and other ASEAN member states. She briefed 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 in May this year. She encouraged second-generation young professionals residing in ASEAN countries to consider the growing opportunities in Hong Kong.

     In the evening, Mrs Lam co-officiated with Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, at the Gala Dinner organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore to celebrate decades of co-operation and friendship between Hong Kong and Singapore. Before the Gala Dinner, Mrs Lam had a short meeting with Mr Lim to seek his support on the early conclusion of the negotiations of the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement.

     Mrs Lam will continue her visit to Singapore tomorrow (July 25), meeting senior officials and visiting the Singapore Sports Hub.

Ends/Friday, July 24, 2015
Issued at HKT 20:08


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