Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu delivers his welcome remarks at a dinner he hosted for Hong Kong and Thai business leaders in Bangkok, Thailand on Nov 19, 2022. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Hong Kong's strengths in sustainable trade and investment and its early admission to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership were among the key topics Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu discussed with the leaders of other economies of the 15-member Asia-Pacific grouping in Bangkok.
On the second day of discussions at the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting in the Thai capital on Saturday, Lee said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been leveraging its unique strength as the world's freest economy, pursuant to the "one country, two systems" principle, to promote free and open trade and investment.
So far, the HKSAR has signed eight free trade agreements with 20 economies, including more than half of APEC's 21 members. Hong Kong has been actively seeking early accession to the RCEP to add momentum to APEC's vision of a free trade area and promoting regional economic integration, Lee said.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu reiterated Hong Kong's firm commitment to regional cooperation towards the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 for the prosperity of all mankind and the building of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future
He also reiterated Hong Kong's firm commitment to regional cooperation towards the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 for the prosperity of all mankind and the building of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.
Lee joined leaders of other APEC member economies in endorsing the Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular-Green Economy to advance inclusive and sustainable growth in the Asia-Pacific region, and played a part in adopting the APEC 2022 Economic Leaders' Declaration that represents APEC's commitment to strengthening cooperation in addressing the common challenges in the region.
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Lee told the media he had used the opportunity to meet the leaders of various countries to brief them on the advantages and opportunities Hong Kong offers to the world. "I also explained that Hong Kong is a place where the China advantage and the international advantage converge in a single city."
He said there are various areas the HKSAR can cooperate in the Asia-Pacific, such as using the city as an innovation and technology hub, as well as an art and cultural exchange center. He cited Hong Kong Palace Museum and its M+ Museum which showcase the city's infrastructure and determination to be connected to the world, and contribute in this regard.
"We will seriously consider the requests of various countries. What's important is that Hong Kong fully supports free trade and anything pointing in that direction," Lee said.
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At a dinner held for Thai and Hong Kong business leaders in Bangkok on Saturday evening, Lee briefed them on the initiatives to attract talents and enterprises to the HKSAR, as unveiled in his maiden Policy Address and in the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's "Think Business, Think Hong Kong" campaign to be launched in the Thai capital next year. He said Hong Kong will strive to help Thai businesses find opportunities in the city and on the Chinese mainland.
On Sunday, the last day of Lee's four-day trip to Thailand, the chief executive and members of his delegation visited enterprises in Bangkok.
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