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     The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, addressing over 30 invited global business leaders at the Hong Kong Session of China Development Forum 2021 held online tonight (March 20), said she is confident that Hong Kong will thrive and soar higher with the full support of the Central Authorities. The theme of the Session is “The Development of Hong Kong in the Next Five Years”.

     The China Development Forum is a high-level forum hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council and organised by the China Development Research Foundation annually. It serves as an important dialogue platform for senior officials of the Chinese government, global business leaders, international organisations and renowned scholars. This year’s forum is held both online and onsite at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing from March 20 to 22. A Hong Kong Session was held for the first time upon the suggestion of the Chief Executive.

     Mrs Lam said that her confidence in Hong Kong and its future development is grounded in two major Decisions made by the National People’s Congress – the enactment of The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in June 2020 and the Decision to improve the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)’s electoral system to implement “patriots administering Hong Kong” approved last week.

     “These two important Decisions by the highest organ of State power have put Hong Kong back on its right track, that is, fully and faithfully upholding ‘One Country, Two Systems’, safeguarding national security and ensuring Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity,” she said. 

     Mrs Lam said that her confidence is further boosted by the support given by the Central Government to Hong Kong as embedded in the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (the 14th Five Year Plan) approved by NPC at its recent meeting. Noting that the 14th Five-Year Plan reaffirms support for Hong Kong to enhance its status as an international financial centre and strengthen its role as a global offshore Renminbi business hub, an international asset management centre and a risk management centre, she highlighted that Hong Kong’s strengths in innovation and technology development was recognised in the National Plan for the first time. She elaborated on the achievements of Hong Kong as an international financial centre and an innovation and technology hub and the many initiatives put in place by the HKSAR Government, many with the support of the Central Government, to further boost their developments down the road.
      
     Pointing out that Hong Kong’s future lies in integration with the Mainland economy, while maintaining her uniqueness under “One Country, Two Systems”, Mrs Lam said that Hong Kong will proactively become a participant in domestic circulation and a facilitator in international circulation amidst the “dual circulation” development strategy of the country.
      
     The Hong Kong Session was attended by over 30 invited business leaders from around the world. It was moderated by the Vice Chairman of China Development Research Foundation and the Secretary General of China Development Forum, Mr Lu Mai. Guest speakers comprised the Chairman of Swire Pacific Limited, Mr Merlin Swire; the Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China, Mr Neil Shen; the Chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, Mrs Laura Cha; and the Chairman of Fung Group, Dr Victor Fung. Officials attending the session included the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Erick Tsang Kwok-wai; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau; the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit; the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui; and the Director of the Chief Executive’s Office, Mr Chan Kwok-ki.