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Executive Lam: HK 'will scale new heights'

By BO LEUNG in London | | Updated: 2017-09-21 07:46

The chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said that the best of Hong Kong has yet to come.

The official, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, spoke at the annual Hong Kong Dinner in London late on Wednesday as part of celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

Among the guests was the United Kingdom's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, along with businesses executives, diplomats and representatives from industries who desirea deeper relationship and network between Hong Kong and London.

In her keynote speech, Lam said that as the new chief executive, she is full of confidence and optimism, and as long as "we can get our act together" and "adopt a clear vision and embrace opportunities presented, Hong Kong will scale new heights".

"Hong Kong will continue to succeed under 'one country, two systems' and join the unique advantages which Shanghai and Singapore, both highly competitive and thriving cities, do not have," Lam said.

She highlighted the importance of President Xi Jinping's speech delivered in Hong Kong on July 1.

"President Xi Jinping has again pledged the nation's support for the Hong Kong SAR, from closer economic partnership arrangements to a comprehensive agreement on Hong Kong's participation on the Belt and Road Initiative; from Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect to Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect," she said.

Lam added that Hong Kong occupies an unrivalled position as the world's largest offshore renminbi trading center, and the city also became a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in June.

Various plans and agreements are underway to enhance Hong Kong's cooperation with the Chinese mainland, and the chief executive said she will meet with the minister of science and technology to discuss Hong Kong's development in technology.

Lam also offered her heartfelt sympathies to the victims of several terrorist attacks in the UK.

She said that Hong Kong remains one of the safest cities in the world but added that there was no room for complacency. The city's law enforcement agency will step up surveillance and international cooperation, she said.

Lam pointed out that Hong Kong is renowned for its "experience and skills of doing business with the outside world for over half a century".

"Our international outlook and connectivity has given us an edge," she said, adding that the city is enjoying conducting external affairs as provided for under the Basic Law that enabled us to grow that relationship in the past 20 years as a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.

Lam said that as the chief executive in the new term of the SAR government, she has a strong sense of purpose and urgency.

She stressed that Hong Kong cannot rest on its laurels, and "there are policy decisions we need to take, many investments to make and many people to connect to in order to stay competitive".

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