Chief Executive John Lee reviews MSW Charging Scheme and announces mega events to boost economy

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21st May 2024 – (Hong Kong)  Chief Executive John Lee addressed the media prior to today’s executive council meeting, discussing several key initiatives including the ongoing evaluation of the Municipal Solid Waste Charging Scheme and plans to stimulate the economy through a series of mega events in the upcoming half-year.

Lee confirmed that the government is meticulously reviewing the waste charging scheme, which has been piloted at 14 locations across the city. This initiative aims to better manage the city’s waste disposal and involves the participation of over 7 million people. “We are taking a close look at the outcomes of these trials to identify any operational challenges,” Lee stated. He also noted his personal engagements at a public housing estate in Chai Wan to understand the issues faced by sanitation workers firsthand and to gauge public sentiment on the policy.

On the economic front, Lee expressed the government’s commitment to revitalising Hong Kong’s economy through diverse activities that attract both locals and tourists. “Our aim is not just to recover but to thrive, using a multifaceted approach that includes enhancing the conferences and tourism sectors,” he explained.

Lee revealed that the number of mega events in Hong Kong will be increased from 150 to 210 for the latter half of the year. This boost is expected to draw an additional 1.7 million visitors and generate an estimated HK$4.3 billion in economic value. New events will include fashion design weeks among others, aiming to create a vibrant atmosphere and draw international visitors.

Lee highlighted the positive trends in tourism, with over 14 million visitors in the first four months of the year, noting a substantial increase in overnight stays. He attributed part of this success to new national policies that facilitate business travel and other visits from mainland China. “With at least one major event occurring every two days, we anticipate visitors will extend their stays, enhancing the overall economic impact,” Lee added.

The Chief Executive also addressed the ongoing recovery of the aviation sector and the adaptability of the tourism industry, which are expected to further bolster Hong Kong’s capacity to welcome and host international visitors.