China today

HK leader speaks at China Daily Hong Kong's anniversary event

2017-10-09 22:44:00 (Beijing Time)         Chinadaily.com.cn

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor provided glimpses into her vision for Hong Kong's future on Monday during an event held as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations for the China Daily Hong Kong Edition.

Speaking to a gathering of 340 distinguished guests, including diplomats and leaders in the public and private sectors in the special administrative region, Lam talked about how that future links with the Belt and Road Initiative, launched by President Xi Jinping.

In her keynote speech at the China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable luncheon, Lam referred to the theme of the forum, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area from the Belt and Road Perspective: Opportunities and Challenges.

Lam said the topic was "a most timely and relevant one" that is "inspiring", bringing together "two critically important national development strategies".

"Much synergy can be derived from interactions of both, particularly in shaping the future of Hong Kong," she said.

China Daily Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Zhou Shuchun told the story of the Hong Kong edition's two-decade journey.

"China Daily Hong Kong Edition was founded to cater to the city's huge community of English-speaking readers — to bring them news, views and in-depth research-based features from across China and beyond.

"Founded immediately after the Hong Kong SAR came into being, China Daily Hong Kong Edition was also tasked with upholding the values of the 'one country, two systems' principle, outlining its scope and clarifying the nuances according to the Basic Law for its Anglophone readers," he said.

While Lam said she couldn't disclose information about her first Policy Address, set for Wednesday, she stressed the importance of upholding 'one country, two systems' to enable the SAR to benefit from its strategic edge and make the most of opportunities that the Belt and Road brings.

Lam's proposed strategy to "minimize adverse competition and duplication of resources" between cities in the Greater Bay Area was echoed by Hong Kong Legislative Council member Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who is also the Maritime Silk Road Society co-chair. Ip advocated relaxing regulations on the movement of people and resources between Hong Kong and the mainland.

"In the long term, ultimately, we should explore whether we could build this tremendous area for a population of 66 million and an aggregated GDP of $1.36 trillion into something like a single market," said Ip. "If we want to maximize the potential of the Greater Bay Area, we must work out how to overcome the existing hurdles to the free flow of people, goods, funds, data and services."

Shun Tak Holdings Group Executive Chairman and Managing Director Pansy Ho — whose business interests include Hong Kong, Macao and the mainland — also spoke of "capitalizing on collaborative advantages" between cities in the Greater Bay Area without necessarily sacrificing their "competitive" spirit.

"The governments need to work together, and try to assimilate the efforts so that there could be pooled resources to create what we call one journey multidestination travel," Ho said.