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Speech by CE at 2022 World Maritime Merchants Forum (English only)(with photos/video)
     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the 2022 World Maritime Merchants Forum today (November 15):

The Honourable Vice-Chairman C Y Leung (Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference), Vice Minister Dai Dongchang (Vice Minister of Transport), Deputy Director Yin Zonghua (Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong SAR)), Mr Miao Jianmin (Chairman of China Merchants Group), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon to you all. I warmly welcome you all, in person as well as online, to the second World Maritime Merchants Forum. I would like to start by expressing my appreciation towards the China Merchants Group and other organisers for holding the second edition of this prominent shipping industry event, with distinguished audiences from the maritime and commercial sectors around the globe.
     In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shipping industry has been facing unprecedented challenges, including economic downturns, rising pressure from global inflation and the need for sustainable development.
     This year’s forum, themed "Together for a brighter future", provides a timely opportunity to discuss the way forward for the industry. Under the "one country, two systems" principle, Hong Kong enjoys the strong support of our country while being closely connected to the world. We are well placed to provide a platform for international exchange on the future of the shipping and maritime sector.
     Hong Kong is a longstanding supporter and practitioner of free markets and multilateralism. We believe in the free flow of goods and services, people and capital.
     The Hong Kong Port is one of the 10 busiest container ports in the world. Shipping is the lifeblood of our economy, with the industry carrying nearly 90 per cent of the volume of external merchandise trade of Hong Kong to date. Trading and logistics account for one-fifth of Hong Kong's GDP, and the sector is underpinned by our steadfast port, shipping and maritime services.
     The Central Government has been clearly supporting Hong Kong's position as an international shipping centre in the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development plan. The Hong Kong SAR Government will continue to proactively entrench Hong Kong's strengths by further developing our high value-added maritime services.
     Hong Kong relishes an almost unrivalled competitive advantage in the provision of diverse maritime services with its premier location and nearly 900 shipping-related enterprises established. 
     The Hong Kong SAR Government endeavours to attract more high-quality maritime businesses to Hong Kong and in turn, develop an even more vibrant maritime services cluster. In July this year, we have started a new half-rate profits tax concessionary regime for qualifying shipping commercial principals, ship agents, ship managers and ship brokers.
     We will also continue to nurture maritime talent and actively promote the development of a smart port.
     We are also committed to promoting sustainable development. As part of our decarbonisation efforts, we are pressing ahead with the provision of liquefied natural gas bunkering for ocean-going vessels in Hong Kong, and implementing the latest requirements of the International Maritime Organization.
     Thanks to such longstanding advantages as our friendly business environment, low and simple tax regime, the rule of law, world-class infrastructure and an abundance of professional talents, Hong Kong will continue to serve as the business and logistics gateway between the Mainland and the world. This connectivity, and our deepening integration with the Mainland, will create fresh opportunities for Hong Kong and for the economies and companies that work with us.
     Ladies and gentlemen, Hong Kong looks forward to joining hands with you to create a new global shipping industrial ecology in the industry chain. I wish you a fruitful discussion at today's forum and the best of business in the coming year. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Ends/Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Issued at HKT 15:30
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The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, speaks at the 2022 World Maritime Merchants Forum today (November 15).
The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, attended the 2022 World Maritime Merchants Forum today (November 15). Photo shows (first row, from left) the Director-General of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government (LOCPG) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr Sun Xiangyi; the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung; the Chairman of the China Merchants Group, Mr Miao Jianmin; Mr Lee; Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Mr C Y Leung; Deputy Director of the LOCPG in the HKSAR Mr Yin Zonghua; the Chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, Mr Wellington Koo; Executive Vice President of the China Merchants Group Mr Feng Boming and other guests.

Audio / Video

CE attends 2022 World Maritime Merchants Forum