Members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (right) who are visiting Indonesia meet members of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Sep 6, 2022. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – The new-term Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is being urged to focus more in the upcoming Policy Address on increasing ties with ASEAN markets, and to actively promote Hong Kong’s advantages to nations with abundant resources and opportunities.

The suggestions came from members of Hong Kong’s largest political party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, who are participating in an exchange tour in Indonesia.

On Sunday, three DAB delegations embarked on separate visits to five member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand. The visits aim to reinforce mutual economic ties and increase the region’s understanding of the HKSAR. The visits are scheduled to conclude later this week.

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Speaking at an online news conference, party Chairwoman Starry Lee Wai-king, who is leading the delegation to Indonesia, said that the country, which has a stable political environment and rapid economic growth, has established close relations with China. Indonesia’s favorable development conditions also have provided great opportunities for Hong Kong enterprises, she said.

Indonesia’s favorable development conditions also have provided great opportunities for Hong Kong enterprises

Starry Lee, Chairwoman, DAB

During the first three-day visit, the delegation has met with over 100 business and societal leaders in Indonesia, and briefed them about the favorable development environment in Hong Kong as part of the nation under “one country, two systems” for 25 years. Much of the focus has been on the positive changes after the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong and the improved electoral system.

Lee said previous insufficient communication between Indonesia and the HKSAR has led to local people’s insufficient understanding of the other side. The DAB visit can help promote mutual understanding between communities, she said.

During the tour, the delegation visited the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, a landmark infrastructure project being jointly built by China and Indonesia as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Scheduled to start operations in June 2023, the railway will be the first high-speed railway of Indonesia and South Asia.

Lawmaker Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan, who is also on the trip, said she learned on the tour that Indonesia’s technology has developed rapidly, and the country’s industry and digital economy development is also increasingly mature.

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Another visitor, lawmaker Stanley Li Sai-wing, said Indonesia has rich labor resources and natural resources such as palm oil. But the related supply and manufacturing industry have yet to be improved, and this offers business opportunities for Hong Kong enterprises.

Some DAB members said that Indonesian local representatives’ exchanges with the DAB, they gained a deeper understanding of the actual situation in Hong Kong and expressed interest in seeking development opportunities in Hong Kong as well as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

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