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CE attends Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 (with photos)

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      The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (April 20) attended the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 in Hainan and held a number of bilateral meetings.
 
     Mrs Lam attended the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 in the morning. The theme of this year’s conference is “A World in Change: Join Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt and Road Cooperation”. President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech with the theme of “Pulling Together Through Adversity and Toward a Shared Future for All” via video at the opening ceremony, while Vice President Wang Qishan attended in person.
 
     In the afternoon, Mrs Lam attended the session “Invigorate Development through Vibrant City Clusters: The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) as a Model” to discuss with participating guests topics including how the GBA can draw on the development experiences of various city clusters around the world, construct a focused area of global innovation and technology (I&T) and emerging industries, and attract talents. She pointed out in her remarks that Hong Kong has unique advantages under “One Country, Two Systems” and is a highly market-oriented and international economy underpinned by the rule of law, which can complement the advantages of the GBA cities to create synergy. On I&T development in particular, Hong Kong has top-notch capabilities in basic scientific research, and, coupled with the advanced manufacturing technology of the GBA cities in the Mainland, Hong Kong can promote the development of an international I&T hub in the GBA together with other cities. Hong Kong can also serve as a talent base in the GBA, leveraging its metropolitan status and attractiveness to entice overseas talents to work in the GBA, thereby enhancing the flow of talents.
 
     Mrs Lam also attended the Women Roundtable with women’s power and social responsibility as the theme to discuss with outstanding women leaders from around the world how women can take up social responsibility in a better way and participate in economic activities more proactively in the post-pandemic era. Mrs Lam said that whether in Hong Kong or in other places of the world, many of the people who were involved in the fight against the virus in the past year or so were women, making remarkable contributions to public health. She pointed out that through the continued efforts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, good progress has been made in the promotion of women’s development and rights. She said that the Government will continue to roll out appropriate support measures to unleash the female labour force, allowing women to give full play to their potential.
 
     Mrs Lam had a number of bilateral meetings. The Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, also attended some of them.
 
     In the morning, Mrs Lam met with the Vice Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), Mr Fang Xinghai. Mrs Lam expressed her gratitude to the CSRC for its long-standing support for the financial development of Hong Kong, and said that Hong Kong will proactively integrate with the overall development of the nation. She also expressed the hope that, with the support of the CSRC, Hong Kong will fully leverage its advantages as an international financial centre to contribute to the country’s economic reform and opening up in the financial area.
 
     Mrs Lam also met with the Chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), Mr Hao Peng. She thanked the SASAC for its staunch support for the HKSAR Government for its work to promote the Belt and Road Initiative, including the Belt and Road Summit held every year in Hong Kong and the high-level roundtable conducted earlier this year, promoting exchanges and co-operation between state-owned enterprises and Hong Kong’s business and professional services sector to take part in projects of the Belt and Road Initiative. She said that the HKSAR Government will seize the opportunities brought about by the Belt and Road Initiative and continue to give full play to the city’s advantages to serve as a vital connection platform under the country’s “dual circulation” strategy.
 
     At a meeting with the President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Mr Jin Liqun, Mrs Lam expressed her gratitude to him for being the keynote speaker of the 14th Asian Financial Forum held in Hong Kong in January this year and congratulated the AIIB for completing its first five years of operation, enabling it to move from the stage of building up to that of expansion. She said that the HKSAR will continue to give unwavering support for the operations of the AIIB including project financing, bond issuance, investment, financial management and foreign exchange management, and will actively participate in the development of the AIIB at its next stage.
 
     Mrs Lam also met with the Secretary of the CPC Hainan Provincial Committee, Mr Shen Xiaoming, yesterday (April 19) and will meet with the Governor of Hainan Province, Mr Feng Fei, later today. She told Mr Shen that she was very pleased to travel to Hainan in person this year to participate in the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference. Noting that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Boao Forum for Asia, she wished Hainan Province’s forum this year a great success. Mrs Lam pointed out that Hainan Province is an important gateway at the forefront of China’s new opening-up era. She said that Hong Kong has all along been externally oriented with a free trade policy and a legal system in line with international standards and that the two places can work together to help Hainan enterprises “go global”.
 
     In addition to attending the events of the Annual Conference and holding bilateral meetings in the past two days, Mrs Lam also gave interviews to a number of Hong Kong, Mainland and international media organisations. She will conclude her visit to Hainan tomorrow (April 21).