Opening remarks by CE at press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia (English only) (with photo/video)


     Following are the opening remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, today (July 26):
     Good morning, media friends from Indonesia, Hong Kong and beyond. This is my first visit to Indonesia as the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC (People’s Republic of China).
     I attach great importance to this week-long visit in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and have brought with me a high-level delegation comprising 30 distinguished leaders from various industries and five of the most senior officials from my governing team.
     We are here to promote business opportunities for our mutual growth, and consolidate our strong friendship with Indonesia built throughout the years.
Hong Kong-Indonesia relations
     Hong Kong and Indonesia enjoy close and long-standing ties in trade and investment. Last year, merchandise trade between the two places grew by 12 per cent and reached US$5.7 billion. Hong Kong is the third largest source of foreign direct investment into Indonesia.
     Among ASEAN states, Indonesia has the largest population and GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and is our sixth largest merchandise trade partner in ASEAN. We see great potential in strengthening Hong Kong’s collaboration with Indonesia.
     Yesterday, I was delighted to meet President Widodo of Indonesia. I thanked the President for extending the hospitality and facilitation of the Wonderful Indonesia to me and my delegation.
     I told the President that Hong Kong is determined to strengthen co-operation with Indonesia on various fronts such as trade, investment, finance, innovation and technology as well as culture and tourism.
     I also thanked Indonesia for the continuous support towards Hong Kong’s bid to join RCEP, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
Hong Kong-Association of Southeast Asian Nations relations
     Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of ASEAN. I told Dr Kao that Hong Kong values its economic and trade ties with ASEAN.
     ASEAN is Hong Kong’s second largest trading partner in the world. With the full entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement and the related Investment Agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN in 2021, the trade and economic ties between Hong Kong and ASEAN have been elevated to a higher level.
     I also expressed my gratitude to ASEAN member states for their support to Hong Kong’s accession to RCEP, and conveyed our commitment to maintaining communication with the ASEAN Secretariat on various issues.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
     Hong Kong champions free trade and attaches great importance to promoting multilateralism.
     Hong Kong is committed to contributing to regional co-operation together with RCEP members, and we stand ready to engage in exploratory discussions with them on our accession request.
Hong Kong’s gateway role
     Under the unique “one country, two systems” principle, Hong Kong remains an international capitalist city that acts as a gateway between the Mainland China and the world.
     With the support of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong is determined in actively pursuing what we call the “eight centres” of development. These cover our traditional strengths in finance, trade, shipping, aviation, intellectual property trading, and legal and dispute resolution, as well as the budding areas of arts and culture, and innovation and technology.
     We proactively integrate into national development as part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, or the GBA. The GBA comprises 11 cities, that is nine thriving cities in Guangdong Province, plus the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao. It has a population of over 86 million, and a GDP of over US$1.9 trillion last year.
     In other words, the GBA has a population similar to that of Jakarta plus its three nearby provinces, namely Banten, Central Java and West Java. Its GDP is equivalent to that of the 10th largest economy in the world. The GBA is an important market, and we have invited our friends in Indonesia and ASEAN to join us on the new journey of development of the GBA, as part of the whole programme.
Belt and Road and international co-operation
     Earlier today, I visited a Hong Kong insurance company operating in Indonesia, as well as an Indonesian conglomerate with a strong foothold in Hong Kong. I encouraged their continuous efforts in boosting the market growth in ASEAN, Hong Kong, Mainland China and beyond.
     This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, personally launched by President Xi Jinping. I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit the Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Rail later today, and appreciate the remarkable progress of this Belt and Road project.
     In a moment, I am joining a luncheon hosted for the Indonesian business community. Apart from strengthening exchanges between the Hong Kong delegation and our Indonesian friends, I am delighted to see that Hong Kong and Indonesia will be signing 15 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and agreements at the event.
     The new and strengthened partnerships under these 15 MOUs and agreements cover a diverse array of areas. They include:

  • Hong Kong’s traditional strengths of trading and finance, with a collaboration between our stock exchanges and the promotion of ESG (environmental, social and governance) and green finance;
  • commerce, logistics, maritime services, and professional services; as well as
  • the exchange of meteorological information to enhance disaster control, and even co-operation in aerospace technology between Hong Kong’s very first commercial satellite manufacturing centre, newly opened yesterday, and a leading Indonesian manufacturer.

     I look forward to furthering our relations with Indonesia and bringing fresh impetus to our economies.

Hong Kong welcomes you
     I extend a warm welcome and invitation to our friends in Indonesia to visit Hong Kong, and see for yourselves the new development, new opportunities and new advantages of our city.
     Meanwhile, we have also brought Hong Kong to your doorstep. A roving exhibition under the theme “Immersive Hong Kong”, organised by the Information Services Department of Hong Kong, is now taking place at Gandaria City Mall in Jakarta. The exhibition uses art technology to let visitors experience our cosmopolitan city’s visuals with a creative twist.
     We are also offering round-trip air tickets to Hong Kong in an interactive game there. The exhibition runs till this Saturday (July 29), so do grasp the opportunity to immerse yourselves in Hong Kong’s beauty.
     Before I close, I must take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Indonesian community in Hong Kong, particularly some 140 000 Indonesian domestic helpers in our Hong Kong families. To many of our working families, they are not just their helpers, but also their friends, and even regarded by many as family members. We highly value their great contributions to our society throughout the years.
     Next, may I invite Dr Peter Lam, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, to say a few words.