CE attends APEC meetings in Papua New Guinea (with photos/videos)

      The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, had in-depth discussions with the leaders of other economies at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2018 Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea today (November 18) on how to ensure inclusive development in the face of new economic situation and digital future.

     In the morning, Mrs Lam and the leaders of the other economies were briefed by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Ms Christine Lagarde, on the current global and regional economic situation. At the AELM that followed, Mrs Lam said that amid an increasingly digital economic environment, governments should ensure that people from all walks of life can share the benefits of economic development through good governance and proactive policies and that to this end, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has invested heavily in education in recent years to ensure the adaptability of the next generation to social changes and enhanced medical and social welfare services to take care of the people in need.

     Noting that Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy under "One Country, Two Systems", she said that the city will continue to leverage its advantages to promote international free trade, including expanding the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) network. Hong Kong will also contribute to the national Belt and Road Initiative, including sharing with the emerging countries along the Belt and Road Hong Kong's rich experience in city management to help their capacity building.

     At the AELM Working Lunch, Mrs Lam pointed out that the HKSAR Government attaches great importance to the work on youth development and women empowerment to enhance social inclusiveness. On youths, the HKSAR Government is keen to enhance the creativity and problem-solving ability of young people through improvement to education as well as provide more career choices for them and broaden their global horizons. On the aspect of women, the HKSAR Government's priority is to retain women in the workforce. She expressed the hope to create a favourable environment so that youths and women have more room for development and participation in policy making.

     During a break at the meetings, Mrs Lam met separately the leaders of Australia and Vietnam.

     At her meeting with the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Scott Morrison, Mrs Lam said that with the close ties of the people and enterprises between Hong Kong and Australia, she was pleased that negotiations on a FTA and an Investment Agreement were successfully concluded a few days earlier and that she believes that the business and economic relations between the two places will be taken to a new level.

     At her meeting with the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Mrs Lam thanked him for his support to enhance collaboration between the two places and said that bilateral relations can be further boosted in tourism and student exchanges.

     At the margins of the meetings, Mrs Lam also expressed her gratitude to the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Shinzo Abe, for the support and hospitality extended to her by the Japanese government during her official visit to the country last month. She said that the trip is fruitful and that she is confident that collaboration between Hong Kong and Japan in various areas can be further enhanced.

     In addition, Mrs Lam expressed her gratitude to the Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr Prayut Chan-o-cha, for the huge amount of work he has done in the past year for the establishment of Hong Kong's new Economic and Trade Office in Bangkok, Thailand and said she plans to officiate at the opening of the Office in person early next year.

     Mrs Lam will meet with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Mr Peter O'Neill, tomorrow morning (November 19) and then depart for Hong Kong.

Ends/Sunday, November 18, 2018
Issued at HKT 22:59