Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee embarks on strategic Beijing visit

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The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee (left), meets with the Minister of Finance, Mr Lan Fo'an (right), in Beijing this afternoon.

4th March 2024 – (Beijing) John Lee, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, commenced his official itinerary in Beijing today, marking the beginning of a series of strategic engagements aimed at bolstering financial and healthcare cooperation with the Mainland.

Mr. Lee, accompanied by a delegation of officials, initiated his programme with a visit to the Ministry of Finance. There, he met with Minister Lan Fo’an, discussing a spectrum of issues with a focus on strengthening financial ties and reinforcing Hong Kong’s prestige as a global financial nucleus.

Expressing his appreciation for the Mainland’s unwavering support, Mr. Lee highlighted the issuance of Renminbi (RMB) sovereign bonds in Hong Kong for the 15th year in a row as a testament to the nation’s backing of Hong Kong’s pivotal financial role and its distinction as a leading offshore RMB business hub. This, Lee pointed out, is instrumental in fostering the bond market in Hong Kong and drawing international investment.

The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee (second right), meets with the Minister of Finance, Mr Lan Fo’an (first left), in Beijing this afternoon. Also joining the meeting is the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui (first right).

The Chief Executive reinforced the HKSAR Government’s commitment to motivate Mainland localities to leverage Hong Kong’s international-standard financial services for issuing offshore RMB and green bonds. This strategy is envisioned to facilitate the internationalisation of the RMB and support eco-friendly economic transitions, thereby contributing to superior national development.

Subsequent to the financial discourse, Mr. Lee attended a signing ceremony where pivotal healthcare collaboration agreements were inked between the National Health Commission (NHC), the Health Bureau, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC). The ceremony saw the endorsement of two key agreements aimed at enhancing Mainland’s healthcare personnel capabilities and fostering top-tier medical scholarship and fellowship programmes.

Additionally, a Memorandum of Understanding focusing on infectious disease preparedness and prevention was signed by the Health Bureau of the HKSAR and the HKJC. This falls in line with the HKJC’s commitment, as announced in the Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address, to dedicate $3 billion towards improved disease surveillance and control, as well as international scientific collaborations through local universities.

“The agreements signed today symbolise a significant step forward in medical cooperation between the NHC, the HKSAR Health Bureau, and the HKJC,” stated Mr. Lee. He anticipates that these joint ventures will substantially enhance healthcare services and communicable disease management in both the Mainland and Hong Kong.

Mr. Lee concluded by underscoring the HKSAR Government’s resolve to advance medical personnel exchanges and collaboration with the Mainland, citing upcoming initiatives such as the Greater Bay Area International Clinical Trial Institute and the Elderly Health Care Voucher Greater Bay Area Pilot Scheme.

The Chief Executive is slated to partake in the opening of the second session of the 14th National People’s Congress on the following day, underscoring the significance of this Beijing visit in setting the tone for future Mainland-Hong Kong collaborations.