Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung delivered his fifth Policy Address at the Legislative Council yesterday (January 18).
The Policy Address outlines plans and initiatives to develop Hong Kong’s economy, improve people’s livelihood, boost land supply and housing, and enhance education.
On economic development, Mr Leung said the National 13th Five-Year Plan and the Belt and Road Initiative would provide new opportunities for Hong Kong in areas such as financial and professional services, as well as innovation and technology (I&T).
The Government would actively consider the recommendations on the sustainable development of Hong Kong’s financial market and financial services sector by the Financial Services Development Council (a high-level cross-sectoral advisory body established by the Government in 2013) concerning taxation, laws and regulations, nurturing talent, etc., and take forward the feasible measures.
The Government will invite the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to strengthen overseas promotion of Hong Kong’s financial services industry.
Mr Leung said Hong Kong would expand its network of offices in the Mainland and overseas to promote Hong Kong’s strengths and advantages, with preliminary work under way to set up five new Economic and Trade Offices in India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.
Four new Liaison Offices supporting the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s work in the Mainland would be set up by mid-year in Tianjin, Zhejiang, Guangxi and Shaanxi, bringing the total number of Liaison Offices to 11.
To give full play to Hong Kong’s role as a ”super-connector” for the Belt and Road Initiative, more staffing resources would be given to the Belt and Road Office, which was set up last year, to formulate and implement strategies on a long-term basis. Hong Kong and countries along the Belt and Road would consider relaxing visa requirements to facilitate movement and boost people-to-people bonds.