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Continuing Improvements to Business Environment

16. Hong Kong possesses a superior environment for business - a very safe society, judicial independence, a level playing field, a prime location, welldeveloped infrastructure, simple and low taxes, harmonious labour relations, a clean government and highly efficient public services. We have won international acclaim in protecting intellectual property rights. These favourable conditions have given local people the confidence to continue investing in new businesses and expand the scale of their operations. They have attracted many multi-national corporations and foreign enterprises to set up regional headquarters and offices here.

17. But we should also recognise that there is considerable scope to improve our business environment. As globalisation develops and inter-regional as well as inter-city competition intensifies, we cannot afford to be content with our existing advantages. Relative to neighbouring regions, our business costs are still too high. Our human resources do not yet fully meet the demands of industries requiring advanced technology, rich knowledge content and high added value. For the future, we must continue to focus on nurturing and attracting talents, strengthen our infrastructure, and push for the application of advanced technologies and innovation. We must make further progress with environmental protection and greening to make Hong Kong an ideal home for talented