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Financial Secretary

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Celebrating the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China

On 1 October, I visited one of the check-in hotspots to celebrate the National Day.

1 October is not only the National Day, but also the beginning of another phase of the Consumption Voucher Scheme (the Scheme) as over 5 million citizens received their second voucher on that day. The disbursement of the voucher has heated up consumer sentiment. When I went out shopping, many people shared with me their happy experiences in spending the voucher.

One can easily noticed that more people were visiting shopping malls and shopping on the street, which triggered surge in sales in stores and restaurants and boosted consumer sentiment. With the epidemic being kept at bay in recent months and the economy starting to recover, I hope the optimistic feeling that the consumption voucher brought to the market could support a positive outlook for the economy, which is important in driving a continuous economic recovery.

Apart from boosting the economy and supporting the related sectors, the Scheme has also brought other intangible benefits, such as the happiness and satisfaction the people had when using the voucher. For me, I bought dim sum and ice cream to share with citizens after receiving the vouchers, which is indeed a great experience as you can share the joy with others. The disbursement of this new round of voucher also gave the National Day some extra festive mood.

On the National Day, which coincided with the disbursement of the second consumption voucher, I bought some ice cream to share with the citizens.

The road for our Country to develop and attain today’s prosperity is not easy. Looking back in history, what we learned is even facing difficulties and challenges, it is important to be confident on our direction and road of development, and determined during the implementation process, so that even the most difficult problems could still be resolved at the end. As seen in our Country’s development in the past, with all the hard work and struggles of the people, the Chinese Communist Party has led the Country in achieving a development of leaping pace. It also reminds us not to forget the original mission, i.e. putting the interests of people at the centre of any development.

In different stages of its development, our Country had faced different challenges and dilemmas of its time and overcome them one by one with effort to achieve success. With this extraordinary determination and high spirit, our Country has gained the achievement as we see today, i.e. from fighting against poverty to becoming an overall well-off society, and from being exploited to reaching a level playing field with others in the world.

The formula for our Country’s development is to walk on a path that best suits the actual situation of our own, which is the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. With the steady leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the society has been staying united and created a stable environment with unified power, allowing a governance with pioneering spirit and high efficiency. Through relentless development, our Country has come up with a flexible and vibrant model for economic development, cementing a solid foundation for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Our Country’s development path in the past has led to today’s success and a bright prospect for the future. Our Country is entering a new phase in a new era with new idea of development.

This is where our confidence came from for Hong Kong’s future.

The great design of “One Country, Two Systems” has allowed flexibility in the system, made use of capitalism to develop Hong Kong’s economy and achieved success. “One Country, Two Systems” is an organic system with many advantages that we can learn from its implementation in the past. Given the changing circumstances and different stages of development, its implementation in the new era will need to face new challenges and shoulder new responsibilities. In the new phase of development, it is key to duly implement the “One Country, Two Systems” principle to ensure the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong.

“One Country” is the prerequisite for the flexibility of the “Two Systems”. Under the principle of “One Country”, as a community with common interests, we have to fully safeguard the national safety and development interests. Even if there are differences between the two systems, it is a common goal for us to govern for the wellbeing of the people and keep improving people’s quality of living. It is the basic principle that the SAR Government should always uphold when formulating any social and economic policies. Whether it is about land development, ecological preservation or any other sorts or planning, the interests of the people should always be put at the centre for development. Bearing this in mind, it helps us to sort out priorities in addressing the problems, dilemmas and challenges.

On the National Day, I also visited some households living in sub-divided flats and public housing to learn more on the needs and difficulties faced by the grassroots.

Land and housing are the most acute dilemmas in our social development, which have induced a great burden on people’s living. It must be addressed with the greatest effort. With the support of the Central Government and the hard work of the SAR Government, as well as a strong will and determination to face challenges, no dilemma can’t be resolved. We need to have new mindset to address the tension brought by uneven social development, in order to respond to the support and expectation of the Central Government and the people’s aspiration for better quality of living. To gather power for taking forward reforms, it is key to share a vision with the society on development in the coming five years, and ensure the people can actually feel their livings are gradually improving.

Economic development is the foundation for social progress and provides the necessary resources and power to resolve social dilemmas. As seen from the chaos erupted in Hong Kong in recent years, to promote economic development, we must safeguard the national security and development interests as our first priority. Facing the game-changing time of a century and the tension brought by international geopolitics, we have to clearly recognise the situation, duly prepare for risk management and contingency plan, and also well explain the story of Hong Kong. With this consideration, I announced the “Report on Hong Kong's Business Environment” early last week.

The report aims at illustrate the bright prospect of Hong Kong. Particularly, the Central Government has decisively implemented Hong Kong National Security Law and enhanced the electoral system for Hong Kong over the past two years, which helped Hong Kong society stepping out from chaos and moving to the new phase of governance and prosperity. Nonetheless, some people may still have misunderstanding and bias on Hong Kong’s development and business environment, or even being misled by the propaganda and misinformation spread by the US and some other countries. As such, we have to publish this report to debunk those allegations and proactively promote the advantages of Hong Kong.

From the success of Hong Kong in the past, to the development at present and opportunities for the future, we have been relying on the continuous development and solid support of our Country, and using our own strengths to serve the needs of the Country. Telling the story of Hong Kong well is to safeguard an objective favourable environment and the development opportunities for Hong Kong, which is also a way to respond to our Country’s care and support. With the strong and solid support of our Country, and the advantages of the “One Country, Two Systems” arrangement, Hong Kong’s future will definitely be more prosperous and stable.

October 3, 2021


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