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Financial Secretary


Starting a new chapter & forging new success

President Xi Jinping swore in the Chief Executive and Principal Officials of the new-term Government. At the inaugural ceremony, President Xi’s remarks not only showed his care for Hong Kong, but also strengthened people’s confidence in the “One Country, Two Systems” arrangement and provided direction for Hong Kong’s future development. President Xi’s high expectations echoed the hopes of many Hong Kong people. Working as a team, we will definitely make our best effort to fulfil our duties with a view to delivering tangible results.

Over the past decade, Hong Kong experienced many challenges and difficulties, leading to doubts from inside and outside Hong Kong about our role and contributions, and even about whether Hong Kong could continue to prosper. President Xi’s remarks clearly and firmly recognised Hong Kong’s past success and our distinctive role and contributions to our Country’s development, and pointed out the driving force and path for Hong Kong’s future success.

Given the continuous development of our Country, Hong Kong will definitely enter a crucial phase with a golden opportunity of rapid development. The crux is that we need to have a sense of urgency to grasp the opportunities to fully unleash the huge potential of development.

Our Country has always been the strongest support for Hong Kong. Amid our difficult times in fighting the epidemic, our Country offered Hong Kong a series of supporting measures. Despite the fluctuating local epidemic situation, President Xi visited Hong Kong in person to host the inaugural ceremony and meet with different sectors to have a deeper understanding on Hong Kong’s latest development. For instance, President Xi visited the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and had exchanges with our local I&T researchers and young representatives of I&T enterprises. All these have clearly shown President Xi’s care for Hong Kong.

More crucially, President Xi’s important remarks highly recognised the remarkable success of the implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” arrangement in Hong Kong. President Xi solemnly declared that “One Country, Two Systems” is a good system, which should be adhered to over the long run, and the Central Authorities’ commitment to “One Country, Two Systems” will not be altered. This clearly shows that the development of Hong Kong has the full support of the Country, further boosting the confidence of different sectors and investors in Hong Kong’s future. President Xi’s remarks have also emphasised the “four musts”. First, we must implement the “One Country, Two Systems” principle in a full and precise manner. The more firmly the “One Country” principle is upheld, the greater strength the “Two Systems” will be unleashed. Second, we must uphold the Central Authorities’ overall jurisdiction while securing the SAR’s high degree of autonomy. Third, we must implement the “patriots administering Hong Kong” principle, and fourth, we must maintain Hong Kong’s distinctive position and advantages. These are the experiences summarised over the past 25 years of the implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” in Hong Kong, which we should correctly understand in order to ensure the successful and steadfast implementation of the system.

“One Country, Two Systems” has provided Hong Kong with unique competitive advantages and a favourable business environment. President Xi’s speech has explicitly, clearly and firmly expressed the Central Government’s full support for maintaining Hong Kong’s unique position and advantages over the long term, consolidating our status as an international financial centre and a transportation and trade hub, maintaining a free, open and rules-based business environment, upholding the common law system, and expanding our seamless, fast and convenient international links.

In the past, many investors, multinational enterprises and professionals have all along been using Hong Kong as a base to enter the Mainland and Asian regional markets because of the operation of Hong Kong’s capitalist system and our common law system, free and open business environment, and regulatory regime that aligns with international standards. President Xi’s remarks clearly affirmed the institutional strengths of “One Country, Two Systems”, that there is no reason to change the system and that it must be adhered to over the long run. Many businessmen and professionals consider that this has boosted their confidence in Hong Kong’s future development and in injecting additional investments, as well as provided the best guarantee.

Our proactive response is : we have to become familiar with the history of the recent development of our country and Hong Kong, as well as the profound changes and trends in the international arena; in our thinking, we need to have the firm will and confidence to develop collaboratively with the Mainland; on strategy, we have to proactively integrate into the nation’s overall development and to be in sync with national development strategies, while maintaining seamless international links and fostering our unique role as a gateway and a bridge; in operation, we have to continue to maintain a high degree of freedom and openness together with the advantage of following international standards; and by playing to our own advantages and strengths, we may continue to serve an irreplaceable function and role in our Country’s new era of more extensive, deeper and broader opening. This is the unique formula for Hong Kong’s future success.

Confidence is our cornerstone, the market is our strength.

Take being an international financial centre as an example, it is at the intersection of investors, businesses, capital and talent. The development of a financial centre is underpinned by confidence, markets and alignment with international standards all working together. The Central Authorities have reinforced the confidence in Hong Kong from all walks of life, our Country has a large market and continuous steady growth, and the “Two Systems” arrangement has ensured Hong Kong’s advantage in being well connected internationally. It can be definitely said that Hong Kong’s role as an international financial centre as well as our Country’s international financial centre will only grow in importance. Our world-class position as a financing platform, our distinctive mutual access mechanism and our unique capabilities as firewall and a testing ground will enrich and deepen the future development of different segments of the financial sector in Hong Kong. Whether it is the internationalisation of the Renminbi, the return of China Concept Stock companies from overseas markets, green and sustainable finance, the bond market, or the asset management industry, all will benefit as a result. Of course, we must also have a bottom-line mentality and continue to strengthen financial security, as only by striking a proper balance between development and security can we steadily move forward.

Hope leads the way.

Hong Kong has experienced several ups and downs since our return to the Motherland. Today, Hong Kong is at a new stage of restoring order from chaos and striving towards greater prosperity.

President Xi once again reminded us that “people’s aspiration for a better life is what we are striving for”. Our objectives of making an all-out effort to promote even better economic development and continuously enhancing the momentum of development are to create a better setting and more room to improve people’s livelihoods and satisfy their hopes for a better life. Under the leadership of the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, the entire team will do our best to enhance the effectiveness of governance and address people’s livelihood concerns. Economic development is good only if it could create diverse and quality employment opportunities, increase the public’s general income level and bring improvements to the living environment, only then can the public truly benefit and feel they are sharing in the fruits of economic development. By being pragmatic and committed to the people, we will make the aspirations of the public the most important pursuit of our policy formulation, and use bold and effective measures to actively and steadily push forward reforms, overcome difficulties and break down fences of interests, so as to blaze a new trail for Hong Kong. At the same time, we will create diversified and quality learning and career development opportunities for young people, so that they can realise their dreams and fulfil their aspirations according to their own interests.

These are what our people need, what the Central Authorities expect from us, and what we set for our goals. Standing on this new starting point of the implementation of “One Country, Two Systems”, with your support, we are embarking on a new journey towards governance and prosperity.

Unity will give us will and determination to strive for our goals;
By working together, we will have greater power to overcome challenges;
Development will bring us the opportunities to improve our quality of living;
At the end, let us share the fruits of development in a better and fairer manner.

July 3,2022

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