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Technology and Belt and Road Initiative

Economic development is the only way to improve Hong Kong people's livelihood. Our economy is basically sound and stable in terms of employment, the inflation rate and the fiscal position of the Government. The more pressing issue at present is slow economic growth.

Slow economic growth means slow increase in people's incomes and less upward mobility for our young people. As such, the current-term Government's work has focused on speeding up economic growth.

We are working at two levels. At the industry level, we are promoting innovation and technological development. Innovation and technology are Hong Kong's emerging industries. They can also can facilitate the development of other industries, such as Fintech. Yesterday, I and my colleagues called on the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology to discuss how we can boost Hong Kong's technological development amidst the country's rapid innovation and technological development.

At the regional level, we must seize the opportunities presented by the country's Belt and Road Initiative. In particular, we can support state organisations and Mainland enterprises in "going global" and promote mutual development with the Belt and Road countries by giving full play to our strengths in finance, infrastructure management and professional services.

At present, the country has already made headway in railway and airport projects in some Belt and Road countries. Therefore, I, together with the Chairman of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, the Chief Executive Officer of the MTR Corporation Limited and three bureau secretaries of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, met with the Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission this morning to introduce our experience and capabilities in participating in the construction and management of airports and railways, both inside and outside the country.

For decades, Hong Kong has been the most international city in China. We have established extensive and close connections with the international community, including connections with overseas Chinese who have returned to live in Hong Kong, expatriates living in Hong Kong and Hong Kong people living overseas. These connections can play a positive role in taking forward the Belt and Road Initiative.

Over the past 30 years, the country's reform and opening up have added momentum to our economic development. In the next three decades, we must capitalise on the new opportunities presented by the Belt and Road Initiative.

December 22, 2016