Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu speaks at a news briefing before the Executive Council meeting on Tuesday. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu will lead a high-level delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday in a bid to canvass support for Hong Kong’s joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and to tell the world the good stories of Hong Kong.

Speaking at a regular news briefing before the Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, Lee said he will use the event to contact leaders of the 21 APEC economies and the participating business leaders to showcase Hong Kong’s vigor and vitality.

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He also hopes to fully introduce Hong Kong, which he said has the Chinese edge and the role as world’s outstanding city with a free market, its ease of doing business, and the opportunities available to the world under the “one country, two systems” principle. 

Lee said the participants have much to gain if they establish a foothold in Hong Kong.

Benefiting from the national 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the Bay Area outline development plan, Lee said Hong Kong needs to consolidate its strengths and develop new opportunities after the pandemic

This year’s APEC summit will have the theme “Open. Connect. Balance.” Topics for discussion will include facilitating open trade and investment; restoring connectivity; and promoting balance, sustainability, and inclusivity in all aspects.

With the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Belt and Road Initiative, Hong Kong, under “one country, two systems”, is much more appealing, Lee said.

Benefiting from the national 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Lee added that Hong Kong needs to consolidate its strengths and develop new opportunities after the pandemic.

The Hong Kong delegation will include over 20 representatives from sectors such as finance, banking, and commercial trade professionals to make full use of this opportunity to introduce Hong Kong’s strengths.

Lee said he also hopes to win an early entry into RCEP, which accounts for one-third of the world’s GDP.

Lee and the Hong Kong delegation will meet with Thai business leaders and visit major corporations in Bangkok to enhance bilateral trade and business co-operation, and better understand the economic and trade developments of Thailand

Lee will attend the gala dinner hosted by the organizer for participating leaders on Thursday; the APEC Leaders’ Informal Dialogue with Guests on Friday, and the APEC Leaders’ Dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council, according to a government statement.

Lee and the delegation will continue to stay in Bangkok after the APEC meetings to strengthen Hong Kong’s connections as well as economic and trade exchanges with Thailand.

He also said that he will actively participate in and pay close attention to the bid for the 2035 World Expo, and that the government will keep an open attitude to any bid that can fully showcase Hong Kong’s advantages and pay attention to international events.

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Allen Shi Lop-tak, president of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong and a member of the city delegation to the summit, said the Hong Kong business community is looking forward to the opportunity to meet with politicians and senior officials of Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states to promote economic and trade cooperation, as ASEAN is a key market for Hong Kong to develop business.

Also on Tuesday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po attended the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Bali, Indonesia, as part of the delegation of the People’s Republic of China.

During a meeting with Franky Widjaja, chairman and CEO of Sinar Mas — one of the largest industrial and commercial conglomerates in Indonesia — Chan encouraged the Indonesian company to make use of Hong Kong’s excellent financial and professional services in connecting with global investors and capital.