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New Year Wishes

On this first day of 2013, I wish you all good health, happiness and success in the coming year.

Different people may have different memories of the past year. But 2012 is over and a brand new year lies ahead of us. Just like every Hong Kong citizen, I have new hopes for the new year.

I hope Hong Kong will achieve a relatively high rate of economic growth so that we can better cope with the issues of housing, poverty, the ageing population and the environment. I hope Hong Kong people will stand united in supporting and accommodating our policies so that the Government can alleviate and resolve problems as soon as possible. I hope all seven million people in Hong Kong will care for each other like one big family. While celebrating joyful occasions, we must not forget to lend a helping hand to those in need and help make Hong Kong, our home, a warmer place to live.

I also hope the global political and economic situations will return to normal very soon, and that both our country and Hong Kong can step out of the shadow of economic uncertainty in Europe and the United States.

I believe my team and I can overcome such challenges and we will continue to launch policies to improve people's livelihoods, adding to those already put in place over the past six months. These include increasing housing and land supply through short, medium and long-term measures, and managing housing demand to serve Hong Kong permanent residents' home purchase needs as a priority and to ensure the steady development of the property market. I also expect the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee to press ahead with its work and conduct a comprehensive review and in-depth analysis of future housing needs and community requirements regarding various types of public and private housing.

I believe the HKSAR Government will continue its policy of putting local people first in 2013. In other words the Government will endeavour to serve the needs of Hong Kong people first, whether in terms of housing or maternity services, through policies and legislation in times of shortage.

I also believe the Commission on Poverty will help the Government define a poverty line on a scientific basis in 2013, and this will be an important step towards resolving the issue.

Meanwhile, I am working hard on my first Policy Address, which will set out not only my policy proposals for the year 2013 but also my policy blueprint for the coming five years.

2013 will certainly be a tough year for the Government, but I am confident that with the joint efforts of the principal officials and the civil service, we will be able to gradually tackle various long-standing problems and improve people's livelihoods.

During my duty visit to Beijing last month, General Secretary Xi Jinping described the new HKSAR Government as progressive, striving, pragmatic and promising. In 2013 my team and I will continue to work hard for the well-being of Hong Kong people.

January 1, 2013