CE meets Prime Minister of Australia
The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, met the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, this afternoon (November 12).
Mrs Lam who met Mr Turnbull at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting concluded the day before in Da Nang welcomed his visit to Hong Kong, which is the first by a serving Australian Prime Minister in more than 30 years' time. She took the opportunity to thank Mr Turnbull for his government's hospitality in hosting her last visit to Australia two years ago in her then capacity as the Chief Secretary for Administration. She told Mr Turnbull that various opportunities for further collaboration between Hong Kong and Australia were identified during that visit.
She said Hong Kong and Australia have all along enjoyed strong economic ties, in which, as of last year, Hong Kong was Australia's fifth largest source of investment, sixth largest trading partner in services and seventh largest export market for goods, and with more than 600 Australian companies operating in Hong Kong. Welcoming the launch of the Free Trade Agreement negotiations between Hong Kong and Australia in May this year, Mrs Lam said she is pleased to note that both sides have been working together proactively with a view to taking the close trade and investment relations to a new height.
Noting that Hong Kong is keen to develop creative industries, Mrs Lam expressed the hope that Hong Kong and Australia would strengthen co-operation in the field. In particular, she said that discussions are underway for Melbourne will be our next partner city in the Business of Design Week 2018, which will be an excellent opportunity for promoting Melbourne's and Hong Kong’s design.
Emphasising that her government accords high priority to youth development, she thanked the Australian government for launching the Hong Kong/Australia Working Holiday Scheme in 2001, which has since benefited more than 66 000 young people from Hong Kong. She also said she welcomed more co-operation in education with Australia which is one of the most popular destinations for Hong Kong students seeking to study overseas.
Mrs Lam also pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative will bring enormous opportunities for economic growth. As Hong Kong is a major international financial centre that has the experience, expertise and connections to serve as the fundraising and financial management hub for Belt and Road projects, Australian companies will benefit by establishing a foothold in Hong Kong to seize the business opportunities.
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