Chief Executive John Lee holds meeting with Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister to strengthen bilateral relations

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23rd May 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, hosted a meeting today with Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Rural and Regional Development, Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. The meeting aimed to enhance the strong ties between the two nations. Present at the meeting were Mr Algernon Yau, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development; Datuk Mohamad bin Alamin, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia; and Mr Muzambli Markam, the Consul General of Malaysia in Hong Kong.

Expressing his warm welcome to Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Mr Lee emphasized the longstanding trade relationship between Hong Kong and Malaysia. Highlighting the bilateral trade in goods, which amounted to US$23.9 billion last year, he underscored Malaysia’s significance as Hong Kong’s ninth-largest trading partner and the third-largest among member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Mr Lee expressed his gratitude to Malaysia for its continuous support of Hong Kong’s early accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). He stressed the importance of collaboration within the region and Hong Kong’s commitment to making substantial contributions to regional cooperation.

The Chief Executive also discussed the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s focus on attracting and retaining talent. He highlighted the Top Talent Pass Scheme, which encourages graduates from the world’s top 100 universities, including Universiti Malaya, to pursue opportunities in Hong Kong. Mr Lee affirmed the HKSAR Government’s commitment to working closely with Malaysia to promote talent exchanges, particularly in areas such as healthcare and vocational training.

Furthermore, Mr Lee expressed Hong Kong’s determination to become an international hub for post-secondary education. He announced an increase in the quota of the Belt and Road Scholarship, starting from the next academic year, to facilitate more students from Malaysia to study in Hong Kong. This initiative aims to foster greater exchanges among young people from both regions.

Recognizing the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia, Mr Lee reiterated Hong Kong’s commitment to strengthening collaboration with Malaysia in various fields. He highlighted trade and commerce, investment, innovation and technology, as well as culture and tourism as key areas for future cooperation, contributing to the further consolidation of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.