Transcript of remarks by CE at media session before ExCo (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at a media session before the Executive Council meeting today (September 26):
Reporter: I’m wondering, has Hong Kong received an invitation to attend APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)? And will you be attending APEC in November? And if not, who will the city send as a representative? And then secondly, what are the lessons you've learned from the JPEX and whether crypto is simply too dangerous to use for retail?
Chief Executive: According to APEC guidelines and protocol, the organiser should send an invitation to the leader of the respective economies. I am still waiting for the invitation letter to be sent to me. We will attend in accordance with standard protocol.
     In regard to the incident of JPEX, I have explained very clearly the Government position, which is first of all, investors must invest on platforms which are licensed so as to ensure that they are properly protected. The second is we have to ensure that information we disseminate should be transparent and as clear as possible. The third is we should promote investors’ education, so that they will understand how the products work, and also how they can assess the risk that they have to face. I have seen that SFC (Securities and Futures Commission) has already published information regarding platforms that are licensed, that are deemed to be licensed, or platforms that have been closed down, or platforms which have made applications. This clear information will assist investors to make a decision as to what they should do when they consider making investments.
     But I must repeat, their interest will be best protected if they invest on platforms which have been licensed. That means these platforms will be properly regulated. There will be proper risk control and proper standards that they must fulfil. If investors choose to invest on platforms that are not licensed, they have to face their own risk. I advise them not to do so. That is why the Government is so concerned about enforcing an effective licensing regime, and I urge everyone to try to understand the products and the risks as much as possible if they choose to invest in virtual assets. The Government, the responsible authorities, and I think also people engage in this business, should all try to promote education in this regard.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:36