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CS visits Brunei (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, visited Brunei yesterday (July 26) and today (July 27). This is the first visit by a Principal Official to Brunei in this term of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

     After landing at Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei yesterday afternoon, Mrs Lam visited the Royal Regalia Museum to learn more about the life of the Sultan of Brunei. The visit was followed by a courtesy call on the Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Madam Yang Jian.

     In the evening, Mrs Lam attended a dinner hosted by the Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng.

     This morning, Mrs Lam attended a breakfast meeting with local business leaders in Brunei. Speaking at the event, she told attendees that as an international financial centre, Hong Kong welcomes companies from Brunei to use Hong Kong to raise funds, issue bonds and manage their assets. Hong Kong's existing strengths in the conventional financial services industry and its unique role as a gateway to Mainland China could serve as a solid foundation for the development of Islamic finance. She also invited Brunei enterprises to make use of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and Hong Kong's experience and expertise in doing business in various sectors to enter the Mainland market.

     Afterwards, Mrs Lam had an audience with the Crown Prince, Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Chairman of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah. She then attended an audience and a lunch hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah. Over the meetings, Mrs Lam said that the bilateral trade between Hong Kong and Brunei had grown by 16 per cent per year in the past five years. She invited Brunei business people to make good use of the well-established capital market in Hong Kong and use Hong Kong as a gateway to tap business opportunities in Mainland China.

     In the afternoon, Mrs Lam had an audience with the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam, the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Minister of Finance of Brunei, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah. She thanked the Sultan for the hospitality offered to her delegation. She also expressed her deep appreciation for Brunei's efforts in the negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Hong Kong since its chairmanship of ASEAN in 2013. Both sides were pleased that the fourth round of negotiations has been successfully concluded.

     On the conclusion of her visit to Singapore and Brunei, Mrs Lam will return to Hong Kong in the evening.

Ends/Monday, July 27, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:52


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