John Lee elected as new CE of Hong Kong

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In his election manifesto, the Chief Executive-elect outlined his future policies to strengthen the city's competitiveness and for "starting a new chapter for Hong Kong together".

The 2022 Chief Executive (CE) Election of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was completed on 8 May 2022 (Sunday), and unsurprisingly, the only candidate John Lee Ka-chiu  (pictured above) was picked as the new head of the city for the next five years by obtaining 1,416 support votes from the members of Election Committee (EC).

Lee will start his tenure from 1 July 2022.

Speaking at a media session, the Chief Executive-elect said he was committed to take all efforts to implement his policy goals, "confront the well-entrenched issues that have faced Hong Kong for many years, take decisive steps and adopt efficient and effective actions to resolve them", "with a view to delivering results that are in the best interest of all Hong Kong people".

With a slogan of 'Starting a New Chapter for Hong Kong Together', the former Chief Secretary for Administration outlined in his election manifesto the four tenets of his vision:

  • Strengthening governance capability and tackling pressing livelihood issues together,
  • Streamlining procedures and providing more housing and better living,
  • Enhancing overall competitiveness and pursuing sustainable development, and
  • Building a caring and inclusive society, enhancing upward mobility for youths.

Overall, Lee said he will focus on strengthening Hong Kong's governance capability, actively engaging different sectors of the community and Hong Kong people, as well as expanding the connections with the Mainland and the world.

To establish a more favourable business environment for companies, his team is expected to seize growth opportunities to maintain Hong Kong's status as a pluralistic, inclusive, and open global metropolis and further strengthen its competitiveness in finance, trade, transportation, innovation and technology.

In his manifesto, he penned down: "Through combining our market-oriented and international business environment built on the rule of law, with enhancements to the competitiveness of various sectors including finance, trade, aviation, and innovation and technology (I&T), Hong Kong will remain an economy that is both free and vibrant.

"It will remain an ideal bridge connecting our country and the rest of the world. It will remain the best entry point for global businesses into the Mainland market."

Here are some policy highlights that Hong Kong's businesses may want to note.

Consolidate Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre

  • reviewing the listing rules to attract more high-quality companies, large technology companies with advanced technologies and investors around the world to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
  • continuing to develop Hong Kong into an asset and wealth management centre to attract more family offices' asset management businesses;
  • developing fintech and supporting the digitalisation of the real economy, promoting the cooperation between financial institutions and start-ups and developing more fintech solutions;
  • expanding the inter-connection mechanism between the Mainland and Hong Kong financial markets, seizing the financial development opportunities brought about by the GBA, being a bridgehead for overseas funds to enter the Mainland market;
  • exploring the application of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) at the retail level, and Multiple Central Bank Digital Currency Bridge (mBridge) used by cross-border institutions;
  • promoting green finance and ESG finance, and developing Hong Kong into a regional carbon trading centre.

Develop Hong Kong as an I&T centre to facilitate economic transformation

  • developing Hong Kong into an international capital of technology research and development (R&D), promoting cross-disciplinary and cross-jurisdictional collaboration among the government, industries, academia, and R&D sectors;
  • expediting smart-city developments, facilitating extensive application of digital technology in society through the digitalisation of government operations for better public services;
  • actively expanding the government's I&T policies, facilitating the development of digital infrastructures and promoting the upgrading and transformation in various industries;
  • building up the overarching ecosystem for I&T and attracting leading national and international companies to set up R&D and high-end production bases, establishing large-scale GBA technology research platforms and creating more R&D positions;
  • developing high-tech and high value-added manufacturing industries, facilitating the process of Hong Kong's re-industrialisation;
  • developing the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Loop into the Shenzhen-Hong Kong technology in-depth cooperation zone to complement the overall development of the Northern Metropolis.

Develop the Northern Metropolis

  • attracting more talents and capital for the development of innovation industries;
  • coordinating the planning and development for the Northern Metropolis and exploring different public-private partnership development models and financing options;
  • actively supporting young people's education and career pursuits and the business development of SMEs and start-ups in the GBA.

Foster a city of culture to promote a creative economy

  • formulating a comprehensive policy for the development of the arts sector and cultural and creative industries, reinforcing the 'Hong Kong brand';
  • facilitating convergences between the cultural creative sectors and the technology sectors, providing infrastructural support such as building digital platforms to facilitate 'cultural IP' exchange and trading;
  • establishing the West Kowloon Cultural District as the cultural hub of the GBA;
  • coordinating the integrated developments of culture, tourism and sports.

Promote Hong Kong's legal services sector

  • promoting Hong Kong's status as the hub for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia Pacific region;
  • attracting international dispute resolution institutions to set up offices in Hong Kong and establishing Hong Kong as a training base for international law and dispute resolution.

Develop a diverse and free economy

  • continuing to explore the layout of railways and major road infrastructure, expediting the development of all announced key railway projects such as the Northern Link (NOL);
  • expediting Hong Kong's accession into the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP);
  • further enhancing Hong Kong's status as an air transportation and logistics hub, and growing high value-added maritime transportation and logistics industry;
  • extending the application period for the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme and expanding its scope;
  • supporting SMEs to expand their markets, including further optimising the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF) as well as the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund).

Care for workers, build a caring and inclusive society

  • developing a diversified economy to create more high-quality jobs;
  • strengthening the protection of occupational safety and health by reviewing and amending the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, and promoting occupational safety education;
  • further reviewing the outsourcing practices and improving the remuneration of workers employed by government contractors;
  • promoting the family functions in society and supporting the work of the Family Council, encouraging more employers to implement family-friendly measures and activities that advocate the value of the family;
  • enhancing and expanding the After School Care Programme and Day Child Care Services to support working mothers.

Enhance education and improve upward mobility for the youths

  • promoting a culture of lifelong learning, vocational and professional education and training, and universal STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) education;
  • formulating a comprehensive youth policy and a youth development blueprint;
  • providing a wider array of high-quality vocational training, employment opportunities and support for business start-ups for youths;
  • attracting aspiring youths to serve on the various government statutory and advisory bodies;
  • organising more internship, training and exchange opportunities overseas and in the Mainland.

Image / news.gov.hk

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