CS starts visit to the US (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, has begun her nine-day visit to the United States.

     After landing in San Francisco in the late afternoon yesterday (June 2, San Francisco time), Mrs Lam attended a dinner with members of the Committee of 100 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Committee comprises distinguished Chinese American leaders from various fields. Mrs Lam updated them on Hong Kong's latest developments and discussed with them the role of Hong Kong in China's development and the opportunities for Hong Kong under the country's Belt and Road Initiative.

     Today (June 3, San Francisco time), Mrs Lam, accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA), Mr Duncan Pescod, visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and met with its Director, Mr Neal Benezra, to understand the operation and management of the museum and to explore opportunities for collaboration with M+ in the West Kowloon Cultural District. Having just undergone a major expansion and re-opened in May, SFMOMA is now one of the largest modern and contemporary art museums in the United States. Afterwards, Mrs Lam paid a courtesy call on the Mayor of San Francisco, Mr Edwin M Lee, and they exchanged views on ways to tackle challenges in city and housing development.

     In the afternoon, Mrs Lam spoke at the "Hong Kong - Asia's Premier Business Hub" business luncheon co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco, the Hong Kong Association of Northern California and the Asia Society Northern California Center.

     Mrs Lam said, "Hong Kong rolls out a level playing field for all companies. We have a simple and low tax regime. For the past 22 years in a row, Hong Kong has finished first in the Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. Our judiciary is independent, grounded in the rule of law, and our intellectual property protection regime reassures companies from around the world."

     In the afternoon, Mrs Lam visited a technology company specialising in business-oriented professional networking to understand its operation and development. "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to promoting innovation and technology development in Hong Kong and we strive to create an ecosystem with excellent software and hardware support for the key players to collaborate and promote the development of the sector," Mrs Lam said.

     In the evening, she met with the Chinese Consul General in San Francisco, Mr Luo Linquan, and thanked him for offering assistance to Hong Kong people in need of consular assistance.

     Mrs Lam will meet with representatives of the San Francisco Port Commission, visit the San Francisco waterfront and the Asian Art Museum, and meet with Hong Kong people working and studying in San Francisco tomorrow (June 4, San Francisco time).

Ends/Saturday, June 4, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:53