Chief Executive Carrie Lam today encouraged Japanese businesses in Tokyo to explore Mainland and overseas markets through Hong Kong.
Mrs Lam attended a breakfast meeting with Japanese business leaders and briefed them on the latest developments in Hong Kong, and the opportunities brought about by the Belt & Road Initiative and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Later, Mrs Lam attended the “Think Global, Think Hong Kong” symposium organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) with 1,500 participants from the political and business sectors.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Mrs Lam said Hong Kong and Japan have long had frequent exchanges in areas such as commerce, tourism, culture and education.
She said Hong Kong is the best place to do business with its unique advantage of “one country, two systems”, unparalleled knowledge of the Mainland market and deep connections with the world.
The Chief Executive welcomed Japanese businesses to partner with Hong Kong to jointly seize the huge opportunities presented by the Belt & Road Initiative and the development of the bay area.
After the symposium, she witnessed the signing of memoranda of understanding on trade and fintech by the HKTDC, the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation and the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company with their Japanese counterparts.
At noon, Mrs Lam had a luncheon with representatives from universities, research and development institutions and businesses in relation to innovation and technology.
She introduced to them the resources allocated and measures rolled out to promote I&T development in Hong Kong, including the establishment of two research clusters on healthcare technologies and on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies, enhanced tax deductions, smart city development, re-industrialisation and the implementation of schemes to attract talents.
Mrs Lam then met Chairman of the Japan Business Federation Hiroaki Nakanishi.
She thanked the federation for its support for Hong Kong over the years and said she hopes it will continue to promote co-operation between the two places.
Mrs Lam later attended an activity to promote tourism in the bay area organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
The activity introduces tourist attractions in Hong Kong and the cities in the bay area as well as Hong Kong’s latest infrastructure to the Japanese public.
Speaking at the activity, Mrs Lam said with the commissioning of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, tourists will find making short day trips to Hong Kong’s neighbouring cities much more convenient.
She invited Japanese visitors to Hong Kong to make good use of the new infrastructure when planning their trips.
Mrs Lam then visited a cheongsam exhibition organised by the Hong Kong Arts Centre and spoke with participating Hong Kong designers to learn about how they find inspiration in literature, fine art and Chinese culture to design cheongsams with unique features.
In the evening, Mrs Lam met Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries Takamori Yoshikawa.
Hong Kong has been Japan’s largest export market for food and agricultural products over the years, she said, adding this shows the love of Japanese gourmet food by Hong Kong people.
She added Hong Kong authorities will closely monitor the situation of the import of Japanese food and maintain close communication with Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries to ensure food safety and safeguard public health.
At the “Think Global, Think Hong Kong” dinner, she introduced to the guests the close relationship between Hong Kong and Japan and the areas for future co-operation between the two places.
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau and Secretary for Innovation & Technology Nicholas Yang accompanied Mrs Lam during the day’s events.