CE attends Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2023 (with photos/video)
In the morning, Mr Lee attended the opening plenary of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2023. The theme of this year's conference is "An Uncertain World: Solidarity and Cooperation for Development amid Challenges".
During the conference, Premier Li Qiang delivered a keynote speech. Premier Li pointed out that we should jointly safeguard the overall peace and stability to bring greater certainty into this volatile world; jointly build a more vibrant centre of growth to bring greater certainty to world economic recovery; jointly explore effective ways of co-operation to bring greater certainty into the profound transformation of global governance; and jointly promote, deepen and consolidate people-to-people exchanges to bring greater certainty into the integration of different civilisations. Premier Li also emphasised the importance of harmony and stability to the development of Asia and the world, and that China would always adhere to reform and opening up despite changes in the world.
Mr Lee said that he was impressed by the keynote speech delivered by Premier Li, and that Hong Kong, as a part of the country and a part of Asia, should keep on capitalising on its unique advantages of enjoying strong support of the motherland and being closely connected to the world under "one country, two systems", and should maintain its international status and spare no efforts in advancing the city's economic development and prosperity, with a view to contributing to the building of a beautiful Hong Kong and a community of a shared future for mankind.
Premier Li also mentioned the further promotion of regional economic integration, enhancement of policy co-ordination from a macro perspective, and the high-quality implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to promote the formation of a more open regional big market. Noting that Hong Kong is pressing ahead to seek accession to the RCEP, Mr Lee expressed great gratitude to the country for its continuous support of Hong Kong's application to join the RCEP. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will continue to seek to start negotiations and discussions with member economies of the RCEP early and strive to forge a consensus among all sectors and places in supporting Hong Kong's accession.
In the afternoon, Mr Lee met with the Chairman of the SASAC, Mr Zhang Yuzhuo. Mr Lee expressed his gratitude to the SASAC for its strong support to the HKSAR Government in promoting the development of the Belt and Road Initiative. Noting that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, Mr Lee hoped that the SASAC could continue to support the HKSAR Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in organising the eighth Belt and Road Summit. He said that Hong Kong would continue to capitalise on its unique advantages of enjoying strong support of the motherland and being connected to the world, and that he looked forward to deepening co-operation with the SASAC, with a view to jointly promoting the development of the Belt and Road Initiative and high-quality development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Mr Zhang expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Hong Kong for its long-term support and assistance to state-owned enterprises. He said that in recent years, state-owned enterprises have been conscientiously studying and implementing President Xi Jinping's important statements on the work in Hong Kong and Macao, and upholding the principle of "one country, two systems" fully, faithfully and resolutely. They have also maintained good communication and co-operation with various Hong Kong enterprises with remarkable results achieved.
Mr Zhang said that looking ahead, the SASAC would conscientiously study and implement the spirit of the important speech delivered by President Xi at the meeting celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. He said that the SASAC would continue to firmly support the HKSAR Government in governing Hong Kong in accordance with the law, and is willing to enhance its exchange and co-operation mechanism with Hong Kong, guide and promote state-owned enterprises in combining their strengths with the needs of the country and the advantages of Hong Kong, and deepening and consolidating their co-operation with Hong Kong. The SASAC would actively participate in Hong Kong's development into an international innovation and technology centre, jointly participate with Hong Kong in high-quality construction projects of the Belt and Road Initiative and promoting the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and facilitate Hong Kong's consolidation and enhancement of its competitive advantages, contributing more to maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, Mr Zhang said.
Mr Lee then attended a certificate presentation ceremony for Hong Kong and Macao youth volunteers, and presented certificates to the volunteers. Mr Lee also chatted with youth volunteers from Hong Kong to learn more about their work and experience volunteering at the conference.
Mr Lee said that he was delighted that youth volunteers from Hong Kong found their work rewarding. He encouraged Hong Kong youths to participate more in exchange and internship programmes on the Mainland, so that they could learn more about the overall development trend of the country, broaden their horizons, and contribute their best to meet the needs of the society in time.
In the evening, Mr Lee attended the Boao Forum for Asia and Hainan Provincial Government Joint Welcome Dinner. He interacted with various participants to tell the good stories of Hong Kong by promoting the advantages and opportunities of the city.
Mr Lee will return to Hong Kong tomorrow (March 31).
Ends/Thursday, March 30, 2023
Issued at HKT 19:59
Issued at HKT 19:59