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Hong Kong’s CE visits Myanmar

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam visited Myanmar to boost its relation with Myanmar and to promote Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Carrie Lam spoke at the 14th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) on September 16, held by the Yangon-headquartered Myanmar Chinese Chamber of Commerce (MCCC). Themed “Setting up Historical Milestones through the Economic Reform of Myanmar”, the WCEC was attended by some 2,000 leading Chinese entrepreneurs from around the world. Together with the Vice President of Myanmar, Myint Swe, and the Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, Wang Qinmin, she officiated at the opening ceremony of the Convention. Delivering a keynote speech that followed, she said that Myanmar’s economic reform and opening up in recent years has brought about strong economic growth and attracted a large number of foreign investors, including those from Hong Kong.

Noting that Hong Kong has been upholding a policy of a free and open economy over the years, Hong Kong is well aware of the benefits brought by an open economy, including the recognition as the freest and the most competitive economy in the world. She said that Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are going to sign a Free Trade Agreement and a related Investment Agreement, which will bring about better access to the ASEAN markets for Hong Kong, create new business opportunities and further enhance trade and investment flows.

“Attaching great importance to cooperation with Myanmar as well as other ASEAN members, Hong Kong expects that the Belt and Road Initiative and the development plan of the GuangdongHong Kong-Macao Bay Area of our country will lead us to a new economic era. With both Hong Kong and ASEAN along the Belt and Road, we hope to co-operate with Myanmar as well as other ASEAN countries to seize the opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative,” she said. In the afternoon, Lam visited the Secretariat Building, the former government headquarters with a history of more than 100 years, to learn about its future revitalization plan. Lam then toured a garment factory set up by Hong Kong business people. The factory commenced production in 2015 and was among the first batch of garment factories opened by Hong Kong entrepreneurs in Myanmar. Lam also visited an international terminal where she was briefed by the management on its operation. Located near the mouth of the Yangon River, the terminal is the first specially-designed multi-purpose international container port in Myanmar. In the evening, Lam hosted a dinner for some 30 Hong Kong business people to learn about the opportunities and challenges faced by them. She said that members of the Hong Kong business community can leverage on Myanmar’s advantages on land and manpower resources to explore business opportunities, boosting economic developments in both places.

Chief Executive returned to Hong Kong in the early hours on September 17.