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CE attends APEC Business Advisory Council Leaders' Dialogue (with photo)
     The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) via video conferencing tonight (November 11), during which she and leaders of the other economies exchanged views with ABAC representatives on the priority issues as economies emerge from COVID-19.

     The dialogue started with a plenary session during which the ABAC Chair presented the ABAC's 2021 Report to APEC Economic Leaders containing a host of recommendations covering regional economic integration, sustainability, inclusion, digital and economy. It was followed by remarks of the Prime Minister of New Zealand and Chair of APEC 2021, Ms Jacinda Ardern. 

     APEC Economic Leaders and ABAC representatives then attended different breakout group discussion sessions. Mrs Lam said at her session that she is delighted with the resumption of the annual dialogue with ABAC this year, and thanked ABAC for the insightful views in its Report. Noting that Hong Kong is among the most effective in the world in controlling COVID-19, Mrs Lam said that the city will continue to promote vaccination and will work hard to resume quarantine-free cross-boundary people flow with Mainland China and other parts of the world.

     Mrs Lam said that Hong Kong will strive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through a series of decarbonisation efforts, and she welcomed the participation of the business sector. She also said that Hong Kong will promote green finance given Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre.

     Mrs Lam said that economies should render support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. She highlighted that Hong Kong is in the process of developing the Commercial Data Interchange as a way to address the long-standing problem of SME financing. The new financial infrastructure, expected to commence operation next year, will offer a centralised platform to enable SMEs to make use of their own data to gain access to more convenient financing services. It will provide a platform to facilitate secure data sharing based on the consent of enterprises and allow the local banking system to serve the real economy more efficiently.

     Reaffirming Hong Kong's commitment to free trade and regional economic cooperation, Mrs Lam also reiterated Hong Kong's interest in its early accession to joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

     Also attended the dialogue session with Mrs Lam were the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Fumio Kishida; the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc; the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development of Canada, Ms Mary Ng; and about 10 ABAC members from various economies.

     The ABAC was established in 1996 as a permanent business advisory body to provide advice to the APEC on business sector priorities. Hong Kong, China's representatives to the ABAC are Ms Marjorie Yang, Mr Nicholas Ho and Ms Mary Huen, while Mr Spencer Fung and Ms Nisa Leung are alternate representatives. Mrs Lam thanks them for reflecting the views of Hong Kong's business sector in the ABAC.

     Mrs Lam will attend the virtual APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting tomorrow (November 12) evening.
Ends/Thursday, November 11, 2021
Issued at HKT 22:15
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The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam (right), attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council via video conferencing tonight (November 11). Looking on is the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau.