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LCQ11: Liaison between politically appointed officials and overseas media
     Following is a question by the Hon Adrian Ho and a written reply by the Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs, Miss Alice Mak, in the Legislative Council today (March 13):

     In December last year when meeting with the Chief Executive on his duty visit to Beijing, the State President reiterated his full support for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government to unite and lead various sectors of society to consolidate and enhance Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre, shipping centre and trade centre, and to promote the better development of Hong Kong. There are views that in order to accomplish the above important tasks entrusted by the State, officials of the Hong Kong SAR Government have the main responsibility to do a good job in telling the world the good stories of Hong Kong, and proactively reaching out to and liaising with overseas media is a very important part of their work. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the number of interviews given or briefings conducted by politically appointed officials for overseas media since the current-‍term Government took office, as well as the names of overseas media involved, together with a breakdown by politically appointed official; 

(2) whether the Government will proactively engage overseas media in explanatory work and formulate a detailed work plan for telling the good stories of China and Hong Kong this year, thereby properly performing its task of making explanations to media organisations around the world; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and 

(3) whether the current-term Government will set performance indicators shortly for the work of politically appointed officials in making rebuttals, clarifications and explanations to overseas media, so as to ensure that politically appointed officials will continuously do a good job in liaising with overseas media, thereby consolidating and enhancing Hong Kong's status as an international metropolis?
     In response to the questions raised by the Hon Adrian Ho, I give the consolidated reply on behalf of the Government as follows:
     The current-term Government attaches great importance to telling good stories of Hong Kong. Government officials often introduce the policies and developments of Hong Kong through the local, Mainland and overseas media.
     Since Hong Kong returned to full normalcy last year, the Government has been telling the good stories of Hong Kong through a holistic strategy of inviting visitors to come here and raising the city's profile around the world. On inviting visitors, the Government has been widely inviting international political and business leaders, industry dignitaries, media representatives and other influential figures to come to Hong Kong to understand the latest developments, unlimited opportunities and new tourist attractions on offer in the city and "bring home" the good stories of Hong Kong. Among them, Mainland and overseas journalists are invited to cover international mega events in the city, such as the Art March, Hong Kong FinTech Week, Hong Kong Maritime Week and Asian Financial Forum, and experience Hong Kong's diverse attractions, including tourist spots, activities and delicacies.
     Committed to presenting Hong Kong's charm as the Events Capital of Asia to the world, the Government has adopted a proactive approach to attract mega events to anchor in the city, drawing people and media from the Mainland and overseas, and generating positive exposure globally, thereby consolidating and enhancing Hong Kong's status as a cosmopolitan world city. In 2024, Hong Kong will host nearly 150 mega events, with over 80 in the first half of the year.
     On going global, the Government has led and organised different delegations to overseas countries, promoting to our stakeholders, including the media, the unparalleled strengths of the city under "one country, two systems" and fostering exchanges and co-operation in various areas, including business, tourism and people-to-people. To tell the good and true stories of Hong Kong to the world, the Government will continue to work with local business dignitaries, members of the Hong Kong Inc, including the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, to connect with the media around the world, in addition to exchanging views extensively with the international political and business sectors. The Government will also continue to expand Hong Kong's circle of friends, developing and deepening exchanges and co-operation with them. Moreover, the Government will launch a new Sponsored Overseas Speaking Engagement Programme, sponsoring renowned scholars and industry leaders to attend overseas events and give speeches to promote Hong Kong.
     The Government will continue to monitor media reports about Hong Kong to understand the perceptions of Hong Kong across different sectors in the world, and resolutely refute untrue, biased, misleading or smearing messages to set the record straight.
Ends/Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Issued at HKT 11:40
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