The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (May 11) led a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) delegation with over 120 members and working staff to start their visit to Sichuan Province by attending the high-level meeting cum First Plenary of the Hong Kong-Sichuan Co-operation Conference, the Hong Kong-Sichuan Exchange Conference on Investment and Trade Co-operation, and events related to post-earthquake reconstruction support work after the massive Wenchuan earthquake of 2008.
In the morning, Mrs Lam led all of the delegation members to meet with the Secretary of the CPC Sichuan Provincial Committee, Mr Peng Qinghua. Mrs Lam said the delegation visiting Sichuan this time comprises a large number of members including government officials, six members of the Executive Council, representatives from various organisations that participated in reconstruction support work, leaders of business chambers and people from creative industries. She thanked the Sichuan Government for its thoughtful and comprehensive arrangements for the HKSAR delegation's visit. She said Hong Kong people dedicated themselves to the reconstruction work in Sichuan after the Wenchuan earthquake 10 years ago, and the proactive participation by the non-governmental organisations was particularly touching. She added that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up of the country, and said the co-operation between Hong Kong and Sichuan should carry on from past successes while creating new achievements in the future. She expressed the belief that, based on Hong Kong's post-earthquake reconstruction support work and the strong bonds between the people of Hong Kong and Sichuan, there is huge potential for strengthening economic development, livelihood improvement, creative industries, innovation and technology and youth development work of the two places. She said she looked forward to a new stage of Hong Kong-Sichuan co-operation by launching the Hong Kong-Sichuan Co-operation Conference today.
Later, Mrs Lam and Mr Peng co-chaired the high-level meeting cum First Plenary of the Hong Kong-Sichuan Co-operation Conference with the attendance of the HKSAR Government members of the delegation. At the meeting, Mrs Lam said the Hong Kong-Sichuan Co-operation Conference was established through the support of the Central People's Government and the efforts made by both the Hong Kong and Sichuan governments. She expressed the hope that Hong Kong and Sichuan would focus on enhancing co-operation in three directions, namely to contribute together to the Belt and Road Initiative, to leverage the development opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship, and to foster people-to-people bonds. After the meeting, Mrs Lam and Mr Peng, together with the Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council (HKMAO), Mr Zhang Xiaoming, and the Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR (CPGLO), Mr Wang Zhimin, witnessed the signing of the arrangement for the Hong Kong-Sichuan Co-operation Conference and the memorandum for the High-Level Meeting cum First Plenary of the Hong Kong-Sichuan Co-operation Conference between Sichuan and Hong Kong.
Afterwards, Mrs Lam and all of the delegation members joined the Hong Kong-Sichuan Exchange Conference on Investment and Trade Co-operation. They witnessed the signing of a number of co-operation agreements between organisations from creative industries, higher education institutions, associations from different sectors and business enterprises, demonstrating that Hong Kong-Sichuan co-operation has passed beyond the traditional relationship in economic and trade areas and is heading towards multifaceted and comprehensive co-operation.
After the ceremony, Mrs Lam and the HKSAR Government members of the delegation visited an exhibition held by the Sichuan Provincial Government on the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up, HK-Sichuan co-operation and 10th anniversary of HK's post-earthquake reconstruction support work in Sichuan. The exhibition reviewed the history of Hong Kong and Sichuan since the reform and opening up of the country 40 years ago and Hong Kong's post-earthquake reconstruction support work in Sichuan in the past 10 years, and also looked ahead to future development in co-operation.
At noon, Mrs Lam and all of the delegation members joined a lunch hosted by the Sichuan Provincial Government. After the lunch, Mrs Lam and the HKSAR Government members of the delegation visited the Sichuan University-The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction. The institute was built with RMB200 million in funding support by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and opened in 2013, and comprises six laboratories concerned with disasters and a disaster information resources centre. It is the first institute established in the Mainland focusing on research into preventing disasters, minimising the impact of natural disasters and implementing post-disaster reconstruction. Mrs Lam toured the facilities and exchanged views with the Hong Kong students studying in the institute.
Mrs Lam later participated in an experience sharing session of “5.12 Reconstruction - Past, Present and Future” organised by the Development Bureau. In her opening remarks, she said the HKSAR had injected HK$10 billion and supported about 190 reconstruction projects. During the process, she was deeply impressed by the importance of advance planning, sustainable development as well as management and operation after project completion. Noting that Hong Kong's "can do" spirit was showcased during the course of the reconstruction support work, she said as long as Hong Kong continues with the spirit, the city is set to have a better future and contribute more to the country. At the same time, other delegation members including Executive Council members and representatives from the business chambers visited the Sichuan HKJC Olympic School, which was built with the support of the HKJC, and the Dujiangyan irrigation system respectively.
After the sharing session, Mrs Lam and the other officials visited the City University of Hong Kong Chengdu Research Institute, and attended the opening ceremony of ARTS + iNNOVATION, which is a public service space for research, training and entrepreneurship in creative media and digitalised society. After the ceremony, Mrs Lam toured a virtual reality technology project about Dunhuang's Mogao Caves at the Centre for Applied Computing and Interactive Media, Chengdu, inside the facility.
In the evening, the HKSAR Government hosted a thank-you dinner with about 160 participants including Mr Zhang, Mr Wang, leaders of the Sichuan Provincial Government and delegation members. In her speech, Mrs Lam expressed her sincere gratitude for the support offered by the Sichuan Provincial Government, HKMAO and CPGLO in HKSAR's post-earthquake reconstruction support work in Sichuan, and the active participation by various sectors represented by the delegation members.
Mrs Lam will continue her visit to Sichuan tomorrow (May 12).
Ends/Friday, May 11, 2018
Issued at HKT 23:43
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