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Financial Secretary


Safeguarding national security and striving for Hong Kong’s economic development

The eighth National Security Education Day was held yesterday with the following theme: “To implement the holistic view of national security, enhance awareness and literacy of national security of all people, and consolidate the social foundation for building a new development paradigm based on the creation of a new security landscape”. A wide array of learning and promotional activities with detailed elaboration on different fronts were organised for this important national event across the country with a view to enhancing the awareness of national security in the whole society.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government organised a thematic seminar on national security at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday. Sessions to engage students symbolised the passing on of national security education from one generation to another.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government held thematic seminars at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday morning, where a number of heavyweight keynote speakers made in-depth analyses of the situation in Hong Kong and shared their views from different perspectives. Their speeches were highly informative and comprehensive. The HKSAR Government also organised a series of public educational and promotional activities. I attended a school workshop as well as educational activities on national security hosted by the disciplined services for the public in the afternoon. Be they seminars of a more serious nature or lively interactive learning activities, events that enhance public awareness of national security on all fronts among various strata of society, industries/sectors and age groups are undoubtedly conducive to building a more thorough understanding of the relationship between development and security in the community; and converging positive forces in safeguarding national security together. They all have a significant bearing on maintaining Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability in future.

“National security is the bedrock of national rejuvenation, and social stability is a prerequisite for building a strong and prosperous China.” Learning and thoroughly understanding President Xi Jinping’s economic thoughts are important in studying the holistic view of national security in depth. An important part of which is building a “new development paradigm” with “new development concepts”, while safeguarding our new development path with a “new security landscape”. Without national security, there is no stability. Without stability, no one can speak of development.

I joined a workshop for National Security Education Day at a primary school in Tseung Kwan O yesterday afternoon.
I also joined open days for the National Security Education Day held by the Hong Kong Correctional Services Academy in Stanley yesterday, and talked to participating parents and children.

Mr Xia Baolong, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, highlighted in his keynote speech yesterday that Hong Kong’s stability today, which did not come easy, should be cherished, and that Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability would benefit all. Mr Zheng Yanxiong, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, also pointed out that Hong Kong was at a new and critical stage of advancing from stability to prosperity. We had to be aware that the foundation for our stability still needs to be consolidated; and guard against any resurgence of anti-China and anti-Hong Kong forces. We should lose no time in promoting prosperity and stimulating our growth, especially when Chinese-style modernisation and development are advancing full steam ahead, where Hong Kong is set to capitalise on its unique advantages and functions of enjoying strong support of the Motherland while being closely connected to the world.

During a discussion session at the thematic seminars, I stressed that the purpose of safeguarding national security was to safeguard Hong Kong’s security an development. The financial sector and the cyber world are critical battlefields without gun smoke. Both of them are areas of national security which we must rigorously defend. As an international financial centre, Hong Kong has free flow of capital and information. We must stay vigilant at all times and ensure that work in various areas and levels is pursued in full reciprocation of the “holistic view of national security”, in particular safeguarding financial and cyber security. While reinforcing security, we should also strive for fast-paced development. Only with the right coordination of security and development can we secure both stability and prosperity; and advance from stability to prosperity.

Yesterday afternoon, I also participated an activity of the National Security Education Day – Open Day of the Fire and Ambulance Services Academy.

Hong Kong is pressing ahead with high-quality economic development, including the promotion of digital economy, development and application of the third generation Internet (Web3), as well as development of an international green technology and green financial centre. All of them are new areas that can help strengthen the impetus for our economic growth. Last week, a number of major exhibitions on innovation and Web3 festivals were held. Attracting a large number of local industry players as well as an even higher proportion of participants from overseas, these events have fostered effective, intensive and in-depth cross-professional interactions and exchanges. Quite many industry players indicated that through these events, they were able to find new investors and secure funding for their projects. They also expressed great appreciation of our lifestyle: our food as well as the hills and the seas. Apart from fully showcasing the ideal and highly efficient business environment in Hong Kong, these events helped stimulate our innovation and technology ecosystem. They are testimony to the fact that a stable and secure environment is certainly conducive to promoting investment and development.

The staunch support of the Central Government and the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law have restored public security and social stability in Hong Kong. With our country’s sustained and steady economic development, continuous breakthroughs in technological innovation, as well as our relentless efforts in the pursuit of excellence, foreign investors are becoming more confident and optimistic in making investments in Hong Kong. Many local enterprises are also actively considering the expansion of their operation, hoping to seize new opportunities brought by steady economic recovery, and by our city under the new development paradigm.

It is true that more needs to be done to consolidate Hong Kong’s economic recovery momentum. Today, we issue a new round of electronic consumption vouchers, which have instantly injected about $20 billion of purchasing power into the market, equivalent to around 60% of Hong Kong’s monthly retail sales. This will stimulate real demand in retail and catering sectors, and instil optimism. Besides, the “Happy Hong Kong” Campaign which I announced in the Budget will be launched soon, which will cover a series of fairs and carnivals featuring specialty cuisines and fun activities. I hope we will all see more happy faces and feel the positive energy in the community through organising these events, which will be favourable to the buoyancy of the economy.

April 16, 2023

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