With the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong taking its toll on the region’s economic performance, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, shared her thoughts with a packed-room of business and policy professionals at the Asia House Future of Trade dialogue at HKEX this morning (30 Oct).
Recognising the challenges facing Hong Kong, the Chief Executive said ending violence was her top priority.
“This is a distressing time for Hong Kong trade and business,” Mrs Lam said. “Equally so for the community at large, the Hong Kong SAR government, and for myself.
“Nothing justifies violence, and the first priority must therefore be to end violence and restore law and order as soon as possible.”
Mrs Lam did, however, express hope that solutions to the crisis could be found through trade, investment and connectivity – some of the key themes explored at the dialogue, which was sponsored by InvestHK and HKEX.
She cited the plans for the Greater Bay Area and new free trade agreements that Hong Kong has entered into, including the ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA, as examples of the opportunities emerging for the SAR.
The keynote speech opened the Asia House Future of Trade conference, which was chaired by Michael Lawrence, Chief Executive of Asia House and featured panels on trade policy; FinTech and digital disruption; and the infrastructure landscape across Asia, including the Belt and Road Initiative.
Lord Green, Chairman of Asia House and former Chairman of HSBC, closed the conference with a speech on the profound changes taking place within the global order and the need to prioritise sustainability.
WATCH Carrie Lam’s speech in full at Asia House TV