1st October 2023 – (Hong Kong) In the wake of the flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square attended by Chief Executive John Lee and senior government officials, including Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki, Financial Secretary Paul Chan, Secretary for Justice Paul Lam, and others, a National Day reception was held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre this morning. During his address at the reception, Lee emphasised that the recently released policy address, announced on the 25th of this month, would carefully consider the opinions of various stakeholders. He stressed that the policies formulated would focus on benefiting the people, promoting economic growth, and delivering tangible results.
In his speech, Lee commended the resilience and adaptability of the people of Hong Kong, who have weathered storms and demonstrated resourcefulness. Although the city faces an unpredictable environment, where opportunities and challenges arise concurrently, Lee expressed confidence in the collective dedication and unity of purpose, stating that with concerted efforts, Hong Kong can once again achieve remarkable success.
Chief Executive John Lee and his spouse arrived at the National Day reception at around 8am Distinguished guests in attendance included Leung Chun-ying, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Dong Jingwei, head of the Office for Safeguarding National Security, Zheng Yanxiong, director of the Hong Kong Liaison Office, and others.
Lee highlighted the unwavering support of the country in maintaining Hong Kong’s unique advantages and fostering mutually beneficial cooperation. He emphasized the country’s commitment to reform and opening-up, showcasing its achievements in various sectors, such as being the world’s largest manufacturer and the second-largest player in the service trade. Lee noted that this year marked the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, with over 180 countries and international organizations having signed agreements, with Hong Kong playing a vital role as a functional platform. He also mentioned the country’s support for maintaining Hong Kong’s distinct advantages, such as offshore renminbi services, to facilitate win-win outcomes.
Regarding Hong Kong’s current situation, Lee acknowledged that the city is at a crucial moment of transitioning from stability to prosperity. He underscored the need to pursue development, enhance the economy, and strengthen competitiveness. Despite the ever-changing environment, Lee reiterated the importance of determination, diligence, and unity of purpose, quoting the Chinese saying “Success lies in ambition and diligence”. He praised the people of Hong Kong for their adaptability and resourcefulness, stating that they have successfully turned crises into opportunities in the past. Lee called for continued unity and collective efforts to contribute to the nation and Hong Kong.
Lee also mentioned several positive developments, including the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), which has seen more than a twofold increase in cross-border trade. He highlighted the establishment of regional headquarters by numerous foreign investors in Hong Kong, as well as the 30th anniversary of H-share listings, with over 1,430 mainland Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong, accounting for 80% of the total market capitalisation. Lee further highlighted positive economic indicators, such as a 20% increase in total retail sales in the first eight months of this year and a record-breaking 23 million visitors to the city. He revealed that the forthcoming policy address, to be announced on the 25th of this month, would take into account various opinions and focus on benefiting the people, promoting economic growth, and delivering tangible results.