IX. Conclusion: Rekindling Hope
319. Building on the HKSAR’s unique strengths under “One Country, Two Systems” and combining with the current-term Government’s unswerving efforts since assuming office on 1 July last year, this roughly 40 000-word Policy Address carries my determination in leading Hong Kong to strive forward. While there are many words, they serve just one purpose: rekindling hope for Hong Kong.
320. At the Inaugural Ceremony of the Fifth-term Government of the HKSAR, I said that “hope propels a society forward, and confidence is the foundation of hope.” In the past year or so since I assumed office as the Chief Executive, I made 30 outbound visits, called on 18 ministries and commissions of the Central Government in Beijing and met with leaders of 19 provincial, municipal and autonomous region governments. I have also received more than 40 visiting international organisations and senior officials, and attended countless gatherings with the business community, academia and professional sectors. By listening attentively and observing carefully, I have come to the conclusion that Hong Kong’s intrinsic strengths are ever increasing, Hong Kong people remain outstanding, our can-do spirit is alive and well, and that Hong Kong is still highly regarded and envied by many.
321. I believe that the HKSAR Government and myself are capable of building a better Hong Kong. I believe that all sectors in the community will leverage on their own strengths and seize the opportunities presented by the B&R Initiative and the Greater Bay Area development in exploring new areas of economic growth. I believe that our country will continue to provide staunch support for Hong Kong, help us rise to challenges and continue to inject new impetus to facilitate Hong Kong’s development. Holding on to these three beliefs, we will certainly see hope.
322. Let us strive ahead to rekindle hope for Hong Kong!
- From 1 September when applications were accepted until 30 September, over 50 000 Hong Kong residents submitted application for residence permits.
- The present target appointment rate of women is 35%. For youth members (i.e. aged between 18 and 35), the target is to increase the proportion gradually to 15% within the current-term Government.
- One of the six new housing initiatives announced in June this year is to re-allocate nine private housing sites for public housing development and it is expected that a total of 10 600 units will be provided.
- Three sites in Cheung Sha Wan, Kai Tak and Tung Chung will provide a total of 4 431 HOS flats; one site in Cheung Sha Wan will provide 2 545 GSH flats; and the URA will provide 450 SH units at its Ma Tau Wai Road project.
- The Heritage Foundation of the United States has been naming Hong Kong the world’s freest economy for 24 consecutive years; the Canadian Fraser Institute has been crowning Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy since 1996; and the International Institute for Management Development based in Lausanne, Switzerland, ranked Hong Kong second in world competitiveness in 2018.
- At present, the HKSAR Government has two ETOs in ASEAN, namely the Singapore ETO and the Jakarta ETO in Indonesia, which were established in 1995 and 2016 respectively.
- We will provide 300% tax deduction for the first $2 million of the qualified R&D expenditure of enterprises, and 200% for the remaining amount. There is no cap on the amount of the tax deduction.
- The detention rate of ships registered in Hong Kong in port state control regimes around the world is very low. The figure in 2017 was 0.7%, which is significantly lower than the global average (around 3%).
- In 2016, the life expectancy at birth for men and women was 81 years and 87 years respectively.
- According to the Bloomberg Health-Care Efficiency Index published in September 2018, Hong Kong ranked first among 56 economies.
- They are the CHT, EHC, Aberdeen Tunnel, Lion Rock Tunnel, Tate’s Cairn Tunnel, Tseung Kwan O Tunnel, Shing Mun Tunnel, the Tsing Ma and Tsing Sha Control Areas.
- Such work includes the setting up of outreaching teams across the territory to provide on-site assistance to the community, thereby putting waste reduction and recycling and MSW charging into practice; provision of free collection service in respect of waste plastics and food waste subject to the outcome of the pilot schemes to be implemented; and implementation of a pilot scheme to assess the effectiveness of applying reverse vending machines in recycling plastic beverage containers.
- They are the Bridges Street Market (revitalised into Hong Kong News-Expo), the Former Fanling Magistracy (revitalised into the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Institute for Leadership Development) and Haw Par Mansion (revitalised into Haw Par Music Farm).
- From the address delivered by President XI Jinping at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held on 18 October 2017.
- In 2018, the countries covered by the overseas internship programmes include Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the UK and Vietnam.