Speech by FS at CUHK Business School 60th Anniversary Reception (English only) (with photos)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School 60th Anniversary Reception today (March 9):
John (Chairman of the CUHK Council, Professor John Chai), Lin (Dean of the CUHK Business School, Professor Lin Zhou), Alan (Provost of CUHK, Professor Alan Chan), faculty staff and alumni, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon. It is my privilege and pleasure to be here today, to celebrate with you the 60th anniversary of my alma mater, the Business School of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.   
     Over the past six decades, the School has flourished at the forefront of business-management education and research.  
     Indeed, CUHK Business School was the first business school in Asia to offer a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Master of Business Administration, and the Executive MBA programme.  
     Today's CUHK Business School network counts more than 40 000 alumni in nearly 50 countries and territories around the world.  
     They include some of the most influential business leaders, scholars and entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, and far beyond. And they have helped enable Hong Kong's rise as one of the world's leading financial and business centres.
     With Hong Kong once again wide open to the pursuit of business and opportunity, I look forward to the continuing contributions of CUHK Business School alumni and the School itself.  
     As for the Government, we are also fully committed to capitalising on the re-opening of Hong Kong. That is why I outlined in my recent Budget Speech, that our immediate focus is on ensuring a speedy post-epidemic recovery, while providing the necessary support and relief to the people and our SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). And at the same time, making investments to power medium to long-term economic development, despite facing a deficit budget. 
     While we are happy to return to normalcy after stepping out of the woods of the pandemic, we must recognise that we are waking up to a very different world. The world has been increasingly polarised and divided, coupled with high geopolitical tensions, high inflation rates, and slower economic growth. Competition among economies is increasingly fierce. We must continue to find new ways to sustain growth and also drive the economy towards high-quality development.
     For this term of Government, we have transformed our governing philosophy to better integrate a proactive and capable government and an efficient market so that we will take a strong lead where government leadership is needed, while leaving ample room for market forces to unleash their power. Attracting enterprises and talent is central to our effort.
     Talent is the lifeline of any successful economy, and it is also a crucial element in attracting enterprises to come to Hong Kong. And we are also acutely aware of the shortage of manpower in general for Hong Kong and the constraints that it imposes on our different sectors and economic development. 
     Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to address this problem. On talent, we have rolled out different talent schemes and seen heartening results: we have received more than 30 000 applications, and among them, more than 14 000 have been approved. At the same time, we have put in more resources to nurture local talents. 
     On labourers, on the premise that the employment and income of our locals would not be compromised, we are also considering ways to support individual sectors by importing workers.
     Hong Kong's future is deeply interlinked with that of our country. We must continue to actively align ourselves with the development strategies of our nation, and better fulfill Hong Kong's role of the "eight centres" under the National 14th Five-Year Plan.  
     At the same time, in the Budget, we have set out the vision to open up new horizons, including digital economy, Web3 and the International GreenTech and GreenFi Centre. These are areas where the Government has to play a catalytic role.
     Dear alumni, ladies and gentlemen, on this memorable day, we celebrate the far-reaching contributions of this illustrious Business School, to the staff, students and alumni, and the great many partners who have helped shape it into the remarkable institution it is today.   
     Once again, my congratulations to your landmark 60th anniversary, and to your manifold achievements and the innumerable successes, local and global.  I look forward to celebrating many more milestones with you.  
     Thank you.  

Ends/Thursday, March 9, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:29