Chief Executive Carrie Lam
Alongside our deep cultural ties, the people of Hong Kong and Japan love to do business together. Last year, Japan was our fourth-largest trading partner, while we were Japan’s eighth-largest partner in trade and fifth-largest market for exports. For more than a decade now, Hong Kong has been the number one export market for Japanese food and agricultural products, ahead of much larger markets such as the US. At last count, Japan was Hong Kong’s ninth-largest source of inward direct investment, with a value totalling US$28.5 billion. That significant investment in Hong Kong is backed up by the more than 1,300 Japanese companies that maintain an office here.
Beyond business, the continuing flow of people between us has been remarkable. Last year, more than 2.2 million Hong Kong people took in the many delights of Japan, up more than 21% over the previous year. More than 1.2 million Japanese visited Hong Kong over the same period, up nearly 13%, year-on-year. The positive trend continues this year. In the first eight months of 2018, the corresponding numbers are 1.5 million and 820,000, representing year-on-year increases of 1.4% and 4.3% respectively.
I delivered my second Policy Address on Wednesday, elaborating on the vision and the priorities of the current-term Government. One of the priorities lies in enhancing Hong Kong’s external affairs through more government-to-government and government-to-business interactions. Such work priority has taken me to some 10 overseas countries since I took office in July last year. With that objective in mind, I am very glad that I will be visiting Japan from October 29 to November 2 for the first time in my capacity as a Chief Executive. This will be the first Chief Executive visit to Japan since 2010. As a result of meticulous planning and full assistance rendered by the Japanese government, I will have a full five-day schedule in Japan meeting senior government officials and people from various sectors as well as attending the “Think Global, Think Hong Kong” business promotion event organised by our Trade Development Council, which will form part of Hong Kong Week in Japan.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam gave these remarks at the opening ceremony of Japan Autumn Festival in Hong Kong – Rediscovering Nippon on October 12.