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Hong Kong Leader Vows to Maintain Openness

By Wei Yiyang and Denise Jia / Jun 11, 2019 03:07 AM / Economy

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Photo: Caixin

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Photo: Caixin

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor pledged Monday to maintain the special administrative region’s openness while taking advantage of the policy of “one country, two systems.”

“Openness is Hong Kong’s gold name card,” Lam said Monday at a Caixin Summit in Hong Kong, “Without an open and diverse economy and society, Hong Kong wouldn’t have the achievements of today.”

As an externally oriented economy, Hong Kong has been hard hit recently by increasing downside risks spurred by trade protectionism.

Hong Kong’s economy grew at its slowest annual pace in nearly 10 years in the first quarter, reflecting a slowdown in exports and investment, statistics from the government showed.

Total exports of goods and investments both declined in the first quarter, and internal demand also weakened, Lam said.

Lam pointed out that the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road initiative are the best opportunities for the city and will provide a great platform for Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong government has invested HK$100 billion ($12.75 billion) and launched a series of measures in the last two years to expand the city’s international connections, including four free trade agreements and investment agreements with the ASEAN countries and Australia, Lam said.

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