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Financial Secretary


Boosting local market sentiment and fostering international ties

Speaking at the “Night Vibes Hong Kong” Campaign Launch Ceremony held last Thursday.

The “Night Vibes Hong Kong” Campaign was kicked off last week, following the launch of the “Happy Hong Kong” Campaign early this year. We hope that events with different themes and characteristics will offer members of the public more choices when they go out for leisure or hang out with their family and friends. The pandemic has made us realise one thing: it feels so good to be able to get together, and the moments spent together will become our cherished memories.

It is along this line of thought that the “Night Vibes Hong Kong” Campaign comes into being. Apart from events featuring new themes, there will also be popular events held in physical mode again for the first time since the pandemic. Ticket discounts for night-time screenings at cinemas, night-time events at three harbourfront sites during weekends, the Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals and Fire Dragon Dance, and the National Day Fireworks Display, are all exciting events which we look forward to join. You may wish to invite your family and friends to go together, or even reserve a table at a restaurant to make the night you spend with them more delightful.

The energetic performance of various performing groups has added colour and vitality to the launch ceremony.
The energetic performance of various performing groups has added colour and vitality to the launch ceremony.
The energetic performance of various performing groups has added colour and vitality to the launch ceremony.

The series of events unveiled last week forms only the first phase of the “Night Vibes Hong Kong” Campaign. We will continue to gather views from the public and include more diversified and novel activities.

Activities organised for the community, in addition to creating happy collective memories for members of the public, can foster positive sentiment and outlook in the retail and catering sectors. It is true that the external environment is less than favourable, and that the local sectors face different challenges. We, therefore, have to adopt a “combination punches” approach to unleash potential demands in different areas and on different levels by making use of various festive characteristics and vibes, thereby bringing more boosters and impetus to the market.

Thanks to the participating guests and performing groups, the launch ceremony was a success.
Enjoying yummy food with other guests at the night market.

According to the latest statistics, the daily average number of visitor arrivals to Hong Kong in August increased to nearly 132 000, representing over 80% of the pre-pandemic level, while the air capacity is expected to rebound to a level which is around 80% of the pre-pandemic capacity by the end of this year. As a number of mega events will be held in Hong Kong over the next few months, while expecting to see the number of visitor arrivals to Hong Kong picking up, we hope that the organisation of the various thematic events will provide more new venues and opportunities for local spending.

Domestically, we must step up our efforts to boost the market sentiment. Externally, we must strengthen our international ties and relations. All these are crucial to the pooling of talent and capital as well as promotion of business and investment, and hence instrumental in fostering our sustained economic development.

Speaking at the Belt and Road Summit luncheon last week.

The two-day Belt and Road (B&R) Summit hosted in Hong Kong last week received the most overwhelming response ever. Of the thousands of participants, many were representatives from overseas countries and the Mainland. This highlights our role as a hub connecting the Mainland and overseas countries. The Summit reviewed the remarkable achievements of the B&R Initiative in the past 10 years and explored ways for greater development in future. Hong Kong has been playing an irreplaceable role in this respect. The Vice Premier of the State Council, Mr Ding Xuexiang, also mentioned in his speech at the Summit that Hong Kong should continue to actively participate in the promotion of the B&R Initiative by leveraging its unique advantages, and pursue better and greater development while integrating into the overall development of the country. He also expressed his hope that Hong Kong could strive to deepen regional co-operation, strengthen its financial services, focus on professional services, and deepen cultural exchanges.

Meeting with Dr Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of ASEAN, at the Summit.
Meeting with Mr Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, at the Summit.

While “bringing in” visitors, we have to actively “go out” to meet the political and business communities in different countries, and explain to them Hong Kong’s latest developments and new opportunities in such areas as finance and technology. We would also like to take such opportunities to address some bias against and misconceptions about Hong Kong.

Last night, I set off for a 10-day trip to Europe, during which I will visit Paris, London, Berlin and Frankfurt. I will attend a mega promotion campaign organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, as well as luncheons and dinners hosted by the financial and business communities. I will also visit local innovation and technology enterprises or creative arts and cultural institutions and exchange views with their representatives. It is my hope that this trip to Europe will open up more concrete opportunities for co-operation. In fact, there are various areas in which Hong Kong can strengthen collaboration with countries in Europe, including green technology and green finance, artificial intelligence, life and health, as well as Web 3.

Thanks to the staunch support of our country, the unique advantages under “One Country, Two Systems” and the hard work of our people, the city is seeing thriving development and new opportunities. Hong Kong’s unique edge in maintaining smooth connectivity and close ties with global markets has not only allowed us to make greater contributions to the high-quality development of our country, but also provided better prospects for our own development.

September 17, 2023

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