Hong Kong – Speech by STL at 2023 Greater Bay Maritime Conference (English only)

Speech by STL at 2023 Greater Bay Maritime Conference (English only)


     ​Following is the video speech by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, at the 2023 Greater Bay Maritime Conference today (May 19):
Distinguished guests,
     It gives me great pleasure to speak at the 2023 Greater Bay Maritime Conference, jointly hosted by the Guangzhou Port Authority, Huangpu District Government, Nansha District Government and the Hong Kong Shipowners Association. 

     This event today is a particularly meaningful occasion. Not only does it offer a precious opportunity to bring our maritime professionals together, it also marks another milestone of Hong Kong’s close partnership with Guangzhou. Just now, the Transport and Logistics Bureau signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Guangzhou Port Authority on maritime development, exchange and promotion, scaling our collaboration to new heights.

     Under the principle of “one country, two systems” and as enshrined in the Basic Law, Hong Kong practises the common law with which the international shipping community is familiar. In addition, Hong Kong is an international financial, trade and shipping centre, as well as the world’s largest offshore Renminbi business centre. With the Central Government’s support, Hong Kong acts as a super connector to proactively integrate and contribute to the “dual circulation” development strategy of our country, participates in the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and connects to the global community.

     Today’s Memorandom of Understanding with Guangzhou Port Authority is a concrete example of tapping the GBA synergy to enhance mutual competitiveness. By establishing a collaboration mechanism, sharing regulatory and management standards, enhancing promotion as well as manpower exchanges, Hong Kong is set to drive the development of a world-class port cluster with high-value added maritime services. 
     In recent years, Hong Kong has been actively seeking to strengthen and further develop our business environment, so as to boost our competitive edge amongst international maritime markets. With a series of tax measures implemented over the past years, more business establishments are finding Hong Kong more attractive. These measures included the introduction of tax exemption and concessions in 2020 to, No. 1, qualifying ship leasing activities by ship lessors and ship leasing managers, and No. 2, marine insurance businesses. To keep the momentum, we introduced last year half-rate profits tax concessions to qualifying shipping commercial principals, including ship agents, ship managers and ship brokers. All in all, these tax concessions aim to offer a welcoming business environment to these drivers of shipping activities, which are paramount to enhancing the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s maritime industry.
     Hong Kong’s position as an international maritime centre is well recognised by international organisations. In 2019, the International Chamber of Shipping launched its China Liaison Office in Hong Kong. In 2020, The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) approved the BIMCO Law and Arbitration Clause 2020, such that Hong Kong is now the fourth named arbitration venue in the standard Dispute Resolution Clause of its maritime contract, alongside London, New York and Singapore. Again, thanks to “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong has in recent years entered into several arbitration-related arrangements with Mainland China, including the supplemental arrangement to refine the mechanism of mutual recognition of arbitral awards, and an arrangement to allow parties to Hong Kong seated arbitrations to seek interim measures directly from Mainland courts. Hong Kong is the only jurisdiction to benefit from the interim measures arrangement.

     We have recently set up a Task Force on Maritime and Port Development Strategy to formulate strategies to further promote the development of Hong Kong as an international maritime centre. The Task Force will put forward an action plan on key strategies within this year. In particular, we will work with representatives of the high‑end maritime services industry to explore measures to strengthen our edge in high value-added maritime services.
     We count on a rich pool of practitioners for the long-term development of the maritime and port industry. That is why the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) Government and the maritime sector are committed to nurturing our talent pool and raising the professionalism of our personnel. On the part of the Government, we will on one hand launch a Maritime Services Traineeship Scheme this year for young people who aspire to a career in maritime law, and on the other hand inject HK$200 million into the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund to support manpower training for home-grown talents. Through these training schemes, we hope to build a vibrant, diversified and competitive pool of professionals and technical personnel to support the maritime industry’s development, as well as the development of maritime sectors in the GBA.
     With our talents, unique strengths and well-developed maritime cluster, I am more than confident that Hong Kong will continue to play an important role in the provision of high value-added professional services to the global maritime industry. With the synergy between the Government and the maritime sector, Hong Kong is well-positioned to contribute to the further development of the overall maritime capability of the GBA.
     I must thank the Hong Kong Shipowners Association for their continued support and for organising this event. I look forward to the upcoming fruitful discussions and exchanges we will all hear today. Thank you very much.

Greater civil-military jointness must to further strengthen national security & deal with future challenges, says Raksha Mantri at the inauguration of 28th Joint Civil-Military Training Programme at LBSNAA

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has called for greater jointness of civil administration and Armed Forces to further strengthen national security and deal with future challenges that may emanate from the ever-evolving global situation. He was addressing the participants of 28th Joint Civil-Military Training Programme at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand on June 13, 2022. The Raksha Mantri pointed out that the concept of national security has broadened, as many non-military dimensions have been added to the more general aspect of protection from military attacks.

Shri Rajnath Singh described the Russia-Ukraine situation and other similar conflicts as proof that the world is witnessing challenges far beyond conventional warfare. “War and peace are no longer two exclusive states, but a continuum. Even during peace, war continues on many fronts. A full-scale war is lethal to a country as much as it is for its enemies. Therefore, full scale wars have been avoided in the last few decades. They have been replaced by proxies and non-combat wars. Technology, supply line, information, energy, trade system, finance system etc. are being weaponised, which can be used as a weapon against us in the coming times. People’s cooperation is needed to deal with this widened scope of security challenges,” he said, while emphasising on the need to adopt ‘Whole of the Nation’ and ‘Whole of the Government’ approach to overcome these challenges.

The Raksha Mantri asserted that the full-fledged process of civil-military jointness has been started by the Government with the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff and establishment of Department of Military Affairs. He said, these decisions are proving to be helpful in making the country ready for future challenges. He added that the steps taken to modernise the Armed Forces and make the defence sector ‘Aatmanirbhar’ have started to yield results. Now, India is not only manufacturing equipment for its Armed Forces, but is meeting the needs of friendly countries as well, in line with the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’, he said.

Shri Rajnath Singh was of the view that unless the silos of the civil administration and Armed Forces are broken to deal with hybrid threats, the nation cannot expect adequate preparedness to respond to future challenges. He, however, maintained that synergy does not mean infringing upon each other’s autonomy; it means working together while respecting one’s identity, like the colours in a rainbow.

“India is a peace-loving nation which does not want war. It has never attacked any country, nor has it captured an inch of anyone’s land. However, if anyone casts an evil eye on us, we will give a befitting reply,” said the Raksha Mantri.

Shri Rajnath Singh exuded confidence that programmes such as the Joint Civil-Military Programme at LBSNAA will play a crucial role in the journey of civil-military integration, which has started under the present Government. He hoped that the programme will prove to be beneficial for civil servants and Armed Forces officers in developing an understanding of coordination and collaboration in the domain of national security.

The Raksha Mantri was of the view that after independence, India followed the old stream of governance and it led to the creation of various social, economic & political institutions and ministries/departments for the security and prosperity of the people. He added that while the division of work was necessary for the smooth functioning of a vast country like India, over a period of time departments and ministries started to work in silos.

Shri Rajnath Singh stressed that the approach of working in silos has been changed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who focusses on working with jointness. This new approach, with which the Government is now working, has ensured holistic development of the Nation, he stated.

Terming the service rendered to the nation by LBSNAA over the last several decades as unparalleled, the Raksha Mantri asserted that the institution, through its training, is nurturing the civil services officers, known as the steel frame of the country’s system, and is contributing to the prosperity of the nation.

Shri Rajnath Singh also paid glowing tributes to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who dedicated his life for the upliftment of the Nation. “Shastri ji had revered an idea of ‘unity’ and ‘oneness’ in the country. From public to administration, he believed in looking at work from the point of view of unity. This joint civil military programme, being conducted for the last two decades, is carrying forward that vision of Shastri ji,” he added.

The Joint Civil-Military Programme was initiated in 2001 with the aim of fostering structured interface between civil servants and Armed Forces officers for a shared understanding of national security. Participants are drawn from the Civil Services, Armed Forces and Central Armed Police Forces. The objective is to familiarise the participants with challenges to management of national security, emerging external and internal security environment and impact of globalisation; to provide an opportunity for the participants to interact and exchange ideas on the subject and expose them to the imperatives of civil-military synergy.


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Hong Kong – Speech by CE at A New Journey with Greater Opportunities – Virtual Tour to the Greater Bay Area for Foreign Businesses in Hong Kong (with photo)

Speech by CE at A New Journey with Greater Opportunities – Virtual Tour to the Greater Bay Area for Foreign Businesses in Hong Kong (with photo/video)


     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, at A New Journey with Greater Opportunities – Virtual Tour to the Greater Bay Area for Foreign Businesses in Hong Kong today (November 26):
Deputy Director Huang Liuquan (Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council), Vice Chairman Cong Liang (Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission), Assistant Minister Wu Jianghao (Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs), Commissioner Liu Guangyuan (Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     It gives me great pleasure to join the event today organised by the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). I must first express my deepest gratitude to the Commissioner and his colleagues for putting together such a rich programme to update the business community in Hong Kong on the GBA developments, especially at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has made travelling across the border not an easy experience. I understand this event has been accorded significance by the relevant ministries and commissions as well as the Guangdong authorities. I am sure participants will learn a lot more about the opportunities available for business and investment through the virtual tour of some enterprises in the GBA Mainland cities. That said, as the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, I fully appreciate that seeing and interacting in person is still important and I can assure you that the HKSAR Government is working very hard to resume some quarantine-free travel into the Mainland, and good progress has been made to date, with the second meeting with our Mainland counterparts held in Shenzhen yesterday (November 25).
     The theme of this event is “A New Journey with Greater Opportunities”, a very apt description of what the GBA will offer. Indeed, my GBA journey commenced on the first day of my taking office as the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region when on 1 July 2017, witnessed by President Xi Jinping, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao signed the Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Greater Bay Area right here in Hong Kong. After thorough preparatory works spearheaded by the NDRC, the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was promulgated in February 2019 and a large-scale seminar took place also in Hong Kong attended by leaders of the nine GBA Mainland cities and the Guangdong Governor, as well as the Chief Executives of the two Special Administrative Regions (SARs). I believe some of the guests in this forum have also attended that forum. Within the Hong Kong SAR Government, I personally chair a high-level steering committee to press ahead with policy measures and co-operation projects and a dedicated GBA Commissioner was created to provide focal support.
     By now, I believe our business friends are familiar with the potential of the GBA. With a total population of 86 million, a combined GDP of US$1.7 trillion and a per capita GDP of over US$19,000, the Greater Bay Area is an economic powerhouse providing continuous impetus to Hong Kong’s economy, and is undoubtedly the best entry point through which Hong Kong integrates into the overall development of our country.
     During my GBA journey, I come to the conclusion that the GBA development embraces several key factors for its success. First and foremost is the support of the Central Government. The GBA development is personally conceived, steered and guided by President Xi Jinping. It has been given top leaders’ attention through a Leading Group for the Development of the Greater Bay Area convened by Vice Premier Han Zheng, of which the two SAR Chief Executives are members. Since the promulgation of the Outline Development Plan, many ministries and commissions have released guidelines or plans setting out their support for the GBA development. Policy measures have been introduced to facilitate Hong Kong’s businesses and professionals to tap into the GBA market. Notable ones include liberalisation to facilitate entry of Hong Kong legal and construction professional services as well as Hong Kong-registered drugs and medical appliances, and most recently, in September, the launch of the Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect scheme. To facilitate flow of talents within the GBA and respond positively to the aspirations of the international chambers of commerce in Hong Kong, many of whom are present here, for the facilitation of non-Chinese Hong Kong residents to travel to the Mainland cities of the GBA, I have put forward concrete proposals to the Central Government. As reported in my 2021 Policy Address, through the helpful co-ordination of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, the Hong Kong SAR Government hopefully will discuss this matter with the relevant Mainland authorities in due course.
     The second factor for the GBA’s success is its compatibility with the country’s vision and aspirations as contained in the National 14th Five-Year Plan, which Commissioner Liu has touched upon. Not only is there dedicated reference to the GBA being an important regional development, the commitment to develop a high-quality GBA will call for more openness and innovation, more international co-operation and more synergy between Hong Kong and the Mainland cities. Businesses based in Hong Kong will certainly enjoy the first-mover advantage.
     Thirdly, the GBA’s geographical advantages and a large market share in air and sea traffic put it at the forefront as a transport hub. The internal connectivity within the GBA has also benefited from major infrastructure such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the high-speed train. Looking ahead, the additional cross-border rail projects that I have announced in my 2021 Policy Address in the context of the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, such as the one connecting Hung Shui Kiu in the north-western part of Hong Kong to Qianhai in Shenzhen, as well as the upgraded border control points adopting co-location and other facilitating clearance procedures, will significantly enhance people flow.
     Fourthly, the GBA region not only leads the country in terms of its level of economic development, but also enjoys strong complementarity particularly with Hong Kong. For instance, in the area of innovation and technology, Hong Kong’s strengths lie in basic research and higher education, and these complement very well with the Mainland cities’ industrial capability. The strong partnership between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in building what we now call “one zone, two parks” in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Co‑operation Zone is unprecedented. The Governments of both sides have already signed a co-operation arrangement and launched joint policy to attract talents and enterprises to develop in the Co-operation Zone in September. In my 2021 Policy Address, I put forward the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, which is the first strategic plan or action agenda of the Hong Kong SAR Government with a spatial concept and strategic mindset going beyond the administrative boundary of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Under this Development Strategy, about 150 hectares of additional land around Lok Ma Chau/San Tin will be consolidated with the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop to form what we now call the San Tin Technopole. This, together with the Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Zone, will form an even larger Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Co-operation Zone of approximately 540 hectares, combining the strengths of both Hong Kong and Shenzhen to pool together local and non-local innovative resources, and becoming an essential propeller for the development of an international innovation and technology hub in the GBA.
     Hong Kong’s role as an international financial centre will provide a platform for overseas capital to enter the GBA and for Mainland companies to raise capital in accessing the global markets. In this respect, apart from launching recently the Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect scheme, which brings abundant business opportunities for our banks, we are expanding further the channels for the two-way flow of cross-boundary Renminbi funds and developing offshore Renminbi products and tools to consolidate Hong Kong’s status as a global offshore Renminbi business hub. We will also facilitate more issuance of offshore Renminbi bonds in Hong Kong, such as bonds successfully issued by the Shenzhen Municipal Government in October this year, the first of this kind, and continue to explore the expansion of the scope of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, facilitate application of cross-boundary fintech, and strengthen co-operation on green and sustainable finance. 
     Another example is aviation. With the support of the Central Government and the Guangdong Province, the Airport Authority of Hong Kong is actively following up on equity injection into the Zhuhai airport on the basis of market principles in order to strengthen airport co‑operation of the two places. The Hong Kong SAR Government will also endeavour to establish a high‑end aviation industrial cluster in Zhuhai in collaboration with the Guangdong Province, encompassing such fields as aircraft maintenance engineering, manufacturing and distribution of aircraft parts and components, and research on aircraft engineering. These are part of our strategy to consolidate Hong Kong’s status as an international aviation hub.
     Above all, the fact that the GBA has been regarded as a further step in taking forward the practice of “One Country, Two Systems” is, in my view, the most reassuring factor of its success on a sustainable basis. This is especially so following the two important initiatives taken by the Central Authorities in the last two years, namely the enactment and implementation of the National Security Law and the improvements to the Hong Kong SAR’s electoral system. After overcoming serious political challenges, Hong Kong is back on the track of “One Country, Two Systems” and Hong Kong is poised to take full advantage of her unique strengths under our constitutional order.
     Finally, let me thank Commissioner Liu again for putting together such a meaningful event. I am sure our Mainland speakers will have more insights to share and the virtual tour will be both informative and exciting. I do look forward to Hong Kong hosting a major GBA forum when we celebrate the third anniversary of the promulgation of the Outline Development Plan next February, at which I will welcome you all in person.
     I wish the event every success and all participants good health and good business. Thank you very much.

The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC) Announces Its Move to North Philadelphia’s Concilio de Organizaciones Hispanas Headquarter Offices

 The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC) has moved its offices to 141 East Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19124, within the Concilio de Organizaciones Hispanas complex. The offices were originally on Locust Street in Center City.

“We are happy to be in the heart of the Latino community after so many years in Center City,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, President & CEO of GPHCC. “Our community, our stakeholders, our small businesses are here, and we are here for them. We hope to be seen as a resource now that we are closer than ever and look forward to helping local Latino-owned businesses to thrive.”

“GPHCC and its staff are ardent advocates and supporters of our community,” said Adonis Banegas, Concilio’s Executive Director. “We are happy to share our offices with an organization that serves the economic development of the Latino community in Philadelphia.”

The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is committed to develop, promote, and advocate for Hispanic businesses while encouraging the economic development and growth of the Hispanic community. They have been here for small business owners during the economic downturn because of the pandemic and hope to be seen as a resource to keep businesses going. Protecting and serving its members will always be the highest priority for the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Follow GPHCC on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter or visit www.philahispanicchamber.org to stay tuned for updates about our ongoing initiatives. They may also be reached at info@philahispanicchamber.org.


The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC) is a 501 C3 not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting the advancement and economic growth of Hispanic businesses and professionals in the Greater Philadelphia Region. For more information about the GPHCC, please visit: https://www.philahispanicchamber.org.

Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Maria Cristina Rios





  • Entrepreneurial Development

Hong Kong – Greater Bay Area seminar outlines prospects of Hong Kong legal sector (with photo)

Greater Bay Area seminar outlines prospects of Hong Kong legal sector (with photo)


     The ​”Success through Synergy” seminar on opportunities for Hong Kong’s legal industry in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), organised by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Law Society of Hong Kong, was held today (August 13). Participants conducted an in-depth discussion on the important role played by the Hong Kong legal sector in the development of the GBA, urging the legal sector to seize the opportunities and proactively integrate into the overall development of the country.

     The Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng, SC, said in her opening remarks that the GBA has been growing rapidly. As the only common law jurisdiction within the country, Hong Kong can utilise the unique advantages under the “one country, two systems and three jurisdictions” in the GBA. She added that ample opportunities have been opened up after the DoJ reached a number of co-operation arrangements with the Mainland. Ms Cheng encouraged the legal sector to treasure the opportunities and also expressed her gratitude to the Central Government for its support and concern.
     Speakers attending the panel discussions came from the legal and dispute resolution sector as well as government departments. They offered views and insights on measures in relation to cross-boundary co-operation and the ways to facilitate Hong Kong’s dispute resolution services in the GBA, and also shared their personal experiences. In particular, the speakers welcomed the implementation of the GBA Legal Professional Examination. They opined that the arrangement will allow Hong Kong legal practitioners to provide clients in the GBA with Hong Kong and Mainland legal services and safeguards, which are conducive to promoting closer integration of legal services, attracting more investments and opening up new business opportunities in the GBA.
     The hybrid seminar today attracted over 500 registrations from different countries and regions. Invest Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association Legal Affairs Steering Committee were invited as promotion partners.