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CE attends APEC summit

November 09, 2017

Good advice

Good advice:  Chief Executive Carrie Lam (second right) hosts a lunch for Hong Kong, China's representatives to the APEC Business Advisory Council.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, today.


Speaking at a discussion session of the APEC CEO Summit on new frontiers in trade, Mrs Lam spoke on issues including the impact of globalisation on economic development as well as the rising trend of trade protectionism.


She said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will continue to strive to promote free trade and formulate policy initiatives beneficial to people's livelihood to ensure people can reap the benefits of the opening up of the economy.

Noting Hong Kong has been one of the freest and most open economies in the world, she said the city has benefitted immensely from free trade which has been instrumental in developing Hong Kong into the international trade and business centre it is today.


Mrs Lam said free trade is blamed for social problems from time to time, giving rise to trade protectionism. Emphasising that Hong Kong will continue to promote free trade, she said every government should formulate policy initiatives and measures to respond to different social issues, including maintaining people's standard of living, so they can benefit from free trade and economic development.


She said Hong Kong has been allocating a lot of resources in areas ranging from education and training to social security and medical services, and will lower the profits tax rate for small and medium enterprises.


These measures, regarded as an investment for the future, enable society to better adapt to the changing economic environment, while the returns will provide the Government with more resources to improve people's livelihood in the future.


Adding that Hong Kong has always been a staunch supporter of free trade and a rule-based multilateral trading system, Mrs Lam said she believes free trade agreements which are free and open in nature can facilitate regional trade and serve as building blocks for the liberalisation of multilateral trade.


Hong Kong will soon enter into a free trade agreement and a related investment agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.


She said she believes APEC members will work together to promote free trade for the benefit of the world as a whole.


She added the Belt & Road Initiative will strengthen ties and mutual access amongst the countries along the Belt & Road and other nations, giving new impetus to free trade all over the world.


Mrs Lam also hosted a lunch for Hong Kong, China's representatives to the APEC Business Advisory Council - Anthony Nightingale, Dr Allan Zeman and Dr Jonathan Choi - to thank them for reflecting the concerns of Hong Kong's business sector in ABAC over the years.