|Greater responsibility: New Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Rita Lau pledges to serve Hong Kong's best interests.|
The Central People's Government, on Chief Executive Donald Tsang's nomination and recommendation, has approved Rita Lau's appointment as Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development and the removal of Frederick Ma from the post today.
Mrs Lau, 55, joined the Administrative Service in October 1976 and rose to her present rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade A1 in September 2004. She has been Permanent Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development (Communications & Technology) since last year.
Meeting the media, Mr Tsang described Mrs Lau as the best candidate for the job. As a senior civil servant, she has extensive experience and has achieved remarkable performance in public administration during more than 30 years of Government service.
She shares his governing philosophy, and has gained a depth of knowledge in her policy areas in the past year in the bureau, Mr Tsang said. He added her commitment to the nation, Hong Kong and the community is unquestionable.
Given her excellent leadership and management ability, Mr Tsang said he is confident Mrs Lau can lead her team to help accomplish his policy objectives.
Expressing gratefulness and honour to be appointed, Mrs Lau said the job also comes with greater responsibility. She will quickly gear up, and pledges to honestly, selflessly and loyally apply herself to her duties and undertake to serve and assist the Chief Executive in Hong Kong's best interests.
She will also seek to maintain contact and collaboration with all sectors, and work together to promote business, commerce, innovation, technology and economic development, Mrs Lau said.
Her work with Mr Ma in close partnership in the past year has been a rewarding and enjoyable experience, she added.
Mr Tsang said Mr Ma's willingness to give up his successful private-sector career to join the Government was a clear demonstration of his commitment to Hong Kong and to the country.
He commended Mr Ma for his dedication in serving Hong Kong people and his tremendous contributions in the areas of monetary and financial services, commerce and economic development during his invaluable service in the Government.
Mr Tsang also expressed appreciation of Mr Ma's outstanding abilities and sound communication with relevant community sectors, who had resolved many thorny issues and won public recognition for his exemplary service. He wished him a good rest and a speedy recovery.
Rita Lau's bio
In response to media queries, Mr Tsang stressed he found no difficulty in inviting people to join the Government.
Mrs Lau has served in various bureaux and departments, including Deputy Secretary (Information Technology & Broadcasting) in 1998, Director of Urban Services in 1999 and Director of Food & Environmental Hygiene in 2000.
She was appointed Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Transport & Works (Environment & Transport) in 2002 and Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning & Lands (Planning & Lands) in 2004.
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