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Transcript of remarks at press conference on Principal Official appointments (3) (with video)
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (designate): I am deeply honoured to have been nominated by the Chief Executive-Elect, and appointed by the Central People’s Government as the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.
     I am humbled to have this opportunity to continue serving our people. Hong Kong is our home and I for one see it as our common responsibility to build it a better place. There is no better way than serving our people by serving in the Government. This was the reason I chose Government service as my career some 36 years ago. And it is the same reason that I decided to stay on and I am still loyal to this belief today.
     The portfolio before me is one that is versatile, diverse, as well as important and challenging. It is diverse as it covers quite a wide spectrum of policy areas from trade, commerce to telecommunications and broadcasting, and from promotion of creative industries to boosting inward investment and tourism. And they are all vital to us in creating wealth, in creating jobs, and in bringing about betterment for all walks of life in our society.
     It is a challenging job, as Government today is expected of a role more than before. We have to innovate, we have to facilitate, we have to promote instead of just regulate. This holds more truth in my area of work, as we have to open new doors, build platforms and set sailing for ventures if we are determined to bring our economy to scale new height. That said, we must not forego our respect of the market principles and level playing field as Hong Kong prides herself as the freest, the most open and competitive economy in the world.
     As the Chief Executive-Elect said during her campaign, there is a lot of room for Hong Kong to do even better if we could find new growth engine and ride on business opportunities especially those we stand to gain from the fast progressing Mainland market, as well as the progressive national economic and trade policies.
     For this to be achieved, we must work hand in hand with various sectors of the community and all  stakeholders. In particular, we must put our acts together, within the Government, and among different bureaux and departments.
     Hong Kong is not just a Chinese city but “the international trade and commerce centre” of our country. And we also got talents, entrepreneurship and the can-do spirit that have stood the test of time and challenges.
     We all know full well that there are high expectations for the new Government and we must work even harder and smarter. And I am proud to be part of this team and this common mission.
     Thank you.
Secretary for Innovation and Technology (designate): I am truly honored to be appointed as the Secretary for Innovation and Technology by the Central People’s Government, on nomination by the Chief-Executive-elect.  It’s a great privilege to continue serving Hong Kong in this challenging post.
     During the past 19 months, my team and I have spared no efforts to improve Hong Kong’s innovation and technology ecosystem. Innovation and technology can foster both economic growth and social development.  The key is to find the right execution angle.
     I am aware of the expectation of the community and Hong Kong must step up its efforts in innovation and technology. We will maintain and sustain the momentum we have started, leverage our strengths and identify new growth directions to put Hong Kong on the forefront of global innovation. Thank you very much.
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (designate): Good afternoon. I am deeply honoured to have been nominated by Mrs Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive-elect, and appointed by the Central People’s Government to serve in the fifth term of the HKSAR Government as the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury.
     I have been the Under Secretary for the past three and a half years, and will do my utmost to serve Hong Kong in the coming five years’ term.  First, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Professor Chan for his exemplary leadership and the unfailing support of the civil service colleagues.  KC’s team has laid a solid base for the development of the financial services sector in Hong Kong.  I trust that my years of experience in the government and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority would equip me well to take our achievement to a new height.
     To bring about enhancements and changes, communication with our stakeholders is ever so important.  And as a government official, we need the support of our legislators, market and industry stakeholders and the general public.  I therefore look forward to maintaining a close relationship and discussing government policy measures with them so that they can share and support our vision.
     Financial stability is the key to a stable and growing economy that brings about improvements to the livelihood of our people.  My team and I will continue to develop our financial markets and enhance our competitiveness, and Hong Kong should leverage more on the opportunities brought about by developments in such as Fintech and green finance. We will step up efforts to internationalise our equity market and to make sure that our listing platform remains competitive.
     Hong Kong has just been admitted as a new member to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.  China is actively pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative and developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area.  We must capitalise on these opportunities for our financial services sector and explore more channels to connect with the Mainland financial markets for the continuous development of Hong Kong as an offshore Renminbi hub.
     Hong Kong as a leading international financial centre is well known for its robust regulatory framework, the rule of law and the free flow of capital, information and talent.  We will certainly strive to maintain our edge and do our best to strike a good balance among market development, market quality and investor protection.  This will enable the financial services industry to continue to serve the real economy and the people of Hong Kong well.
     Thank you.
Secretary for the Civil Service (designate): Ladies and gentlemen, I am very honoured to be appointed Secretary for the Civil Service by the Central People’s Government. I also wish to express my gratitude to the Chief Executive-elect for her nomination.
     I have worked in the government for nearly 37 years, and I have served the community wholeheartedly from day one. This commitment has never changed. To serve in the fifth SAR Government as a political appointee will enable me to continue serving members of the public by making use of my experience accumulated at various positions to lead the management and development of the civil service to assist in policy implementation.
     Our civil service upholds a set of fine core values, including commitment to the rule of law, honesty and integrity, dedication, professionalism and diligence, and political neutrality. I take pride in leading such a highly efficient and distinguished team. Upon assuming office, my priority is to safeguard these values.
     With the rising public expectations of the government, workload and pressure facing civil servants will inevitably increase. The government will consider how to make suitable deployment in manpower and other resources to maintain the morale of the civil service, and to enable our colleagues to continue adopting a proactive attitude and a will to strive for excellence in providing quality service to the community.
     The Chief Executive-elect has said that she will follow the principles of "we care", "we listen", "we act" in responding to the aspirations of civil servants. I pledge to maintain close communication and contact with the civil service colleagues, in order to identify desirable solutions to various issues.
     To enhance the morale of the civil service and to forge a close partnership, I will, through various platforms and means, try to understand the working situation of colleagues of different ranks. We are in the same boat. Therefore we should exchange views frankly on various topics. Although on occasions the management and the staff side may have different stances and opinions, I deeply believe that communication is the basis for building mutual trust, the key to identifying common and mutually beneficial grounds, and the prescription for narrowing differences in views and reaching consensus.
     I, together with and the civil service, look forward to a continued co-operation with the Legislative Council and various sectors in the community to work together for the well-being of Hong Kong - our home, as well as its prosperity and stability. Thank you very much.
Secretary for Security (designate): People of Hong Kong, media friends, I would like to thank the Chief Executive-elect for her nomination, and the Central People's Government, for appointing me as the Secretary for Security, of the Hong Kong SAR fifth term Government.
     Security Bureau is responsible for a wide-ranging policy portfolio, including the maintenance of law and order, immigration and customs control, fire and emergency service, save and rescue, rehabilitating offenders, etc. These policies are implemented on a day-to-day basis, by six disciplined and two auxiliary services. Upon assuming office, I shall formulate policies in a pragmatic, serious and impartial manner. I shall actively communicate with my colleagues, so that we together make concerted efforts to ensure that Hong Kong continues to be one of the safest cities in the world, and that we together provide efficient and reliable services to society.
     I shall do my best to communicate with members of the Legislative Council, political parties, the community as well as the media by listening to their views, explaining our polices, and gain their support.
     Over the past almost five years, I have been participating in formulating security policies, in the capacity as the Under Secretary. This helps in facilitating a smooth transition within Security Bureau. I would like to express my gratitude to the incumbent Secretary, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, for laying a solid foundation for the policy portfolio of the Bureau. I have learnt a lot through working under his leadership.
     As Secretary for Security, I understand there is a tall order of responsibilities, which I shall do my utmost to fulfill. I was born in Hong Kong. Hong Kong raised me up.  I am proud and honoured to be able to make contribution to my home city. Thank you!
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs (designate): Fellow citizens and members of the media, I am deeply grateful to the Chief Executive-Elect for her nomination and to the Central People’s Government for appointing me as the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs of the fifth-term Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. I am mindful of the huge responsibilities entrusted to me.
     As the Chief Executive-Elect has pointed out, the new term government will attach great importance to communication and interaction. As for me, I will be humble, rational, pragmatic, sincere, open and receptive. I will reach out to different stakeholders, listen to their views, and explain in detail the government’s vision and policies with a view to narrowing differences, reaching consensus and working together towards building a harmonious and inclusive society.
     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is established in accordance with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. I shall carry out my duties as the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant legislation under the leadership of the Chief Executive during my tenure.
     I have been a civil servant under the Administrative Service of the government for the past 30 years, and I shall be part of the government team as a politically appointed official in the next five years. I will continue to serve the people of Hong Kong and contribute to the future development of Hong Kong with passion, dedication and sincerity.
     Thank you very much!
Reporter: I’m from RTHK, first that, I would like to ask Mr John Lee, do you expect Article 23 to be enacted? Would you put forth it under your tenure? And secondly, another one for Mr Patrick Nip, how would you assess whether Hong Kong is ready to restart political reform and would you try to make that happen? Thank you.

Secretary for Security (designate): Thank you for your question. I support the Chief Executive-elect’s thinking in connection with the issue regarding legislating for Article 23. She has said in her manifesto very clearly that legislating for Article 23 is the constitutional responsibility of the government but we are also aware that this is a very contentious issue. In her manifesto, she has stated very clearly that we will endeavour to create an environment which will be beneficial to legislating for Article 23. I support and agree with her approach, so we will proceed in accordance with her thinking in this regard.
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs (designate): Thank you for your question. On the issue of political reform or universal suffrage, I think the Chief Executive-Elect has made clear in her manifesto that we need to create a favourable environment to take forward this important subject, given the very controversial nature of the issue. The Basic Law has laid down the provision on the ultimate aim of achieving universal suffrage (in the selection) of the Chief Executive. So we will work towards this aim and I think, during my tenure, I will do my very best to communicate with various stakeholders, listen to their views, with a view to narrowing the differences, because we all know that for this matter to be taken forward, we need the agreement of the Central People’s Government, the Chief Executive and also the Legislative Council. Thank you very much.
(to be continued)
Ends/Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 22:04
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Press conference on Principal Official appointments Part 3

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