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CE starts her visit to Beijing

The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, started her visit programme in Beijing today (February 1).

Accompanied by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr James Lau, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Patrick Nip, and the Director of the Chief Executive's Office, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, Mrs Lam met with the Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Minister of Science and Technology of the Central People's Government, Professor Wan Gang in the morning.

She said that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government attaches great importance to the development of innovation and technology (I&T) and a lot of work has been done since her meeting with Professor Wan in September last year, including the promotion of I&T in eight major areas covering funding, talent, infrastructure and government actions as announced in her Policy Address delivered in October last year. In particular, the Government is pressing ahead with the development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop for which the statutory planning procedure has been completed lately and the infrastructural work will start immediately once funding has been approved. Expressing her gratitude to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) for its staunch support and encouragement to the HKSAR Government on the work in I&T, Mrs Lam said she hopes the HKSAR Government and the MOST, which have been collaborating closely, will continue to maintain close ties to further enhance the cooperation in science and technology with a view to advancing the development of I&T in both places.

Mrs Lam and other officials met with the Chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, Mr Xiao Yaqing in the afternoon. She thanked the Commission for its strong support for the seminar on Strategies and Opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative - Leveraging Hong Kong's Advantages, Meeting the Country's Needs to be held by the HKSAR Government in conjunction with the Belt and Road General Chamber of Commerce at the Great Hall of the People this Saturday. She said that the seminar will serve as a platform for the HKSAR Government to introduce to the participating state-owned enterprises and central enterprises the unique advantages of the HKSAR in respect of professional services, encouraging them to explore with Hong Kong business opportunities along the Belt and Road. Noting that there are abundant investment opportunities arising from the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area in which Hong Kong is participating actively, she welcomed the state-owned enterprises and central enterprises to identify suitable investment projects to expand their businesses.

In the evening, Mrs Lam and other officials met with the Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, Mr Cai Qi, and attended a dinner hosted by him. Noting at the meeting that Hong Kong is an international financial, trading and shipping hub whereas Beijing is the centre for politics, culture, international exchanges and technological innovation, she said she believes that the two cities can strengthen co-operation to complement each other. In particular, she said Beijing and Hong Kong can enhance exchanges in such areas as culture and art, youth development and education, and city management, which include increasing reciprocal visits by arts bodies in the two places, expediting the establishment of the Beijing-Hong Kong University Alliance and arranging exchange visits of relevant personnel to the railroad and aviation academies in Hong Kong. Looking forward to the conduct of the 4th Hong Kong/Beijing Co-operation Conference in Beijing in the 4th quarter this year to discuss plans for the enhancement of collaboration, she said she also welcomes the participation by people from the Beijing Municipal Government in the annual international conferences in Hong Kong which include the Asia Financial Forum and the Belt and Road Summit.

Mrs Lam will continue her visit tomorrow (February 2).


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