CE starts her visit to Switzerland (with photos/videos)
Accompanied by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr James Lau, Mrs Lam started the day by calling on the Mayor of Zurich, Ms Corine Mauch. Mrs Lam said she was pleased to meet Ms Mauch again after her visit to Hong Kong in October last year. Noting that both Hong Kong and Zurich are financial centres and faced with comparable opportunities and challenges, she expressed the hope that both places would enhance exchanges to learn from each other. During the meeting, they exchanged views on topics including urban planning and establishment of a smart city. In particular, Mrs Lam briefed Ms Mauch on Hong Kong’s latest comprehensive development strategy and planning, as well as the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong released last month which provides concrete development proposals in various aspects, mapping out smart city development plans for Hong Kong in the next five years and beyond.
Mrs Lam then attended a business luncheon co-hosted by the Swiss-Hong Kong Business Association, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Berlin and delivered a speech. Mrs Lam briefed over 250 guests on the successful implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" since Hong Kong's return to the motherland 20 years ago and Hong Kong's unique advantages. She said the Government she leads will be proactive and, through measures including boosting connectivity, strengthening traditional industries, developing new industries, improving the business environment and enhancing the standard of living, promote the economic development of Hong Kong to grasp the huge opportunities brought about by the national Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. She invited Swiss enterprises to make use of Hong Kong as a platform to access the Mainland market and to satisfy their needs for financing and asset management.
After the luncheon, Mrs Lam and other officials paid a visit to the UBS Wealth Management Micro Ecosystem and Digital Factory to know more about the application and development of financial technologies (Fintech). Mrs Lam said that Hong Kong, as an international financial centre with highly developed information and communications technology and a vibrant Fintech ecosystem, is an ideal platform for expanding Fintech business. She welcomed greater participation by UBS in Hong Kong’s financial innovation.
Mrs Lam and other officials then visited Impact Hub Zurich, a collaborative global community that encourages innovative ideas and assists start-ups by offering members various resources, inspiration and co-operation opportunities and strengthening their social impact. The first Impact Hub opened in London in 2005. At present, there are about 100 Impact Hubs around the world including Hong Kong with over 16 000 members in total. Mrs Lam said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government provides full support for start-ups including tax concessions, capital, information and co-working spaces to assist young entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and encourage start-ups from other places to launch their business in the city.
Mrs Lam and the other officials also visited Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), the largest arts school in Switzerland. Mrs Lam said she was glad to know that ZHdK established a learning centre in Hong Kong in 2014 and has been co-operating with Hong Kong arts organisations by participating in and co-organising different cultural exchange projects and events. Mrs Lam said she looked forward to seeing more cultural collaboration between Hong Kong and Switzerland.
Mrs Lam will continue her visit to Switzerland tomorrow (January 23).
Ends/Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Issued at HKT 2:12
Issued at HKT 2:12
Audio / Video
CE calls on Mayor of Zurich
CE attends business luncheon in Zurich
CE visits UBS Wealth Management Micro Ecosystem and Digital Factory in Zurich
CE visits Impact Hub Zurich
CE visits Zurich University of the Arts