SCED: Hong Kong has unparalleled edges and immense opportunities (with photos)
Mr Yau highlighted that Hong Kong's continued success is firmly rooted in the "one country, two systems" principle, the cornerstone of Hong Kong's economy, adding that President Xi Jinping reaffirmed that the principle must be adhered to in the long run.
"With the full backing of the Central Government, Hong Kong's status as an international financial, shipping and trading centre will only be strengthened. The reassuring affirmation also emphasises Hong Kong's role as a connector and premier services platform bridging the Mainland and the world," he said.
"Our connections to the Mainland market and national development strategies, particularly the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative, give us unparalleled edges and immense opportunities.
"It is a card that no one else can play. We are able to act as one of the best facilitators for overseas enterprises to explore the Mainland market via Hong Kong and to make good use of different professional services to support their development in the Mainland," he stressed.
Turning to the economic ties between Hong Kong and Thailand, Mr Yau said that Thailand is definitely Hong Kong's close partner and that bilateral trade in goods recorded a strong growth of more than 18 per cent year-on-year, reaching US$20.6 billion last year, making Thailand the fourth largest trading partner of Hong Kong among the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
"To further deepen our co-operation with the economies in the region, Hong Kong has been actively seeking to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and formally lodged our accession request this January," he said.
The 15 member economies of the RCEP are all Hong Kong's major trading partners, and their trade in goods accounted for over 70 per cent of Hong Kong's total in 2021. Trade in services and investment with RCEP economies also accounted for about 50 per cent of Hong Kong's total in 2020. It is therefore very important for Hong Kong to join the RCEP in order to further deepen co-operation with trading partners.
Mr Yau also took the opportunity to update the Thai business community on the proactive and aggressive initiatives announced in this year's Policy Address to attract talents and strategic businesses to come to Hong Kong. He noted that with the many new initiatives announced in the Policy Address, it is now the perfect time for all to explore more about the business opportunities provided by Hong Kong, and to see for themselves the good stories that Hong Kong has been telling.
At the business seminar-cum-lunch today, representatives of the Hong Kong business delegation, including the Chairman of the Hong Kong-Thailand Business Council, Mr Bernard Chan; Executive Council Member Mr Jeffrey Lam; and the Chairman of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, Mr Jack So, also joined a panel discussion to share their insights on Hong Kong's business and investment opportunities.
More than 200 guests including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy of Thailand, Mr Supattanapong Punmeechaow, representatives from local business chambers and major corporates, and other government officials attended today's seminar-cum-lunch.
This morning Mr Yau and the delegation also met with a dozen prominent Thai business leaders to give them an update on the latest Hong Kong developments, and exchange views on promoting connections and economic and trade co-operation between Hong Kong and Thailand.
Mr Yau will return to Hong Kong this evening.
Ends/Monday, November 21, 2022
Issued at HKT 15:02
Issued at HKT 15:02