CE continues visit to Switzerland in Davos (with photos/video)

     The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, accompanied by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr James Lau, continued her visit to Switzerland in Davos today (January 24, Davos time).
     On arrival in Davos around noon, Mrs Lam, accompanied by Mr Yau, held a bilateral meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies of Singapore, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam. Mrs Lam said that Hong Kong and Singapore have all along had close trade and economic ties, and pointed out that following the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in November last year, collaboration between Hong Kong and Singapore as well as ASEAN is set to rise to a higher level. Noting that Hong Kong and Singapore are both competitors and partners, she said that she has visited Singapore on many occasions and established sincere friendship with government officials of Singapore.
     Mrs Lam and Mr Yau then met with the Head of Future of Economic Progress and Member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Ms Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz. Mrs Lam said that Hong Kong highly values the WEF's Global Competitiveness Report (GCR), which helps the city know its strengths and challenges and formulate appropriate policies. She said she was delighted that Hong Kong's performance in the GCR has been generally improving in the past decade with both the latest score and the overall ranking at record highs. Noting that she has elaborated on the vision and initiatives of the Government for different policy areas in her maiden Policy Address delivered in October last year and emphasising that the Government's roles would keep abreast of the times to seize the opportunities for steady social and economic development, Mrs Lam said she is confident that Hong Kong will keep making progress in a world of keen competition.
     Mrs Lam and Mr Yau subsequently met with the Secretary of State for International Trade of the United Kingdom (UK), Dr Liam Fox. Mrs Lam said she was glad to learn that Hong Kong and the UK have continued to strengthen collaboration in different aspects including trade and innovation and technology since they last met in September last year. Noting that Hong Kong and the UK have strong and long-standing partnership in trade and business, and that Hong Kong is enhancing its connectivity with Mainland China, she welcomed UK enterprises to make use of the services sector of Hong Kong and together seize the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area.
     In a meeting with the President of the New York Stock Exchange, Mr Thomas Farley, that followed, Mrs Lam and Mr Lau exchanged views with Mr Farley on the latest developments in the securities industry and explored room for co-operation. Mrs Lam said that both Hong Kong and New York are premier international financial centres that can learn from each other in many aspects. Noting that New York is a world leader in a number of areas in finance and Hong Kong is enhancing its competitiveness recently by, among others, introducing changes to the Listing Rules to meet the needs of new economy companies, she expressed the hope that the two places would enhance collaboration and exchanges in policies and regulatory expertise.
     In the evening, Mrs Lam, Mr Yau and Mr Lau attended a reception held by a finance group based in Hong Kong. Briefing the participants about Hong Kong's strengths as an international financial centre and its latest developments in Fintech and other areas, Mrs Lam encouraged businesses from around the world to leverage on Hong Kong's quality professional services. Before ending today's programme, they also attended a dinner hosted by the WEF for Chinese participants.
     Mrs Lam will continue her visit to Switzerland tomorrow (January 25).

Ends/Thursday, January 25, 2018
Issued at HKT 6:59