Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu (sixth left) meets with the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo (fourth right), in Jakarta, Indonesia, on July 25, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, accompanied by a high-level delegation of government officials and business leaders, arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday on the second leg of a weeklong tour of three founding member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Lee met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Secretary-General of the ASEAN Kao Kim Hourn to exchange views on strengthening connections with Indonesia and ASEAN member states.
In his meeting with Widodo on Tuesday morning, Lee said that Hong Kong and Indonesia have always maintained close bilateral trade and investment relations, with Hong Kong being a top-three source of foreign investment of Indonesia
In his meeting with Widodo on Tuesday morning, Lee said that Hong Kong and Indonesia have always maintained close bilateral trade and investment relations, with Hong Kong being a top-three source of foreign investment of Indonesia.
He thanked Indonesia for supporting Hong Kong's accession request to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and expressed his hope for further strengthening cooperation between the territory and Indonesia in such areas as trade, investment, finance, innovation and technology, and culture and tourism.
Lee then attended a luncheon hosted by Charge d'Affaires ad Interim and Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia Zhou Kan.
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Lee thanked the embassy for its support for the HKSAR government's work, and expressed his hope to strengthen high-level connections with the Indonesian government and promote Hong Kong's advantages and latest developments to the local business community.
Meeting Secretary-General of ASEAN Kao Kim Hourn in the afternoon, Lee said that Hong Kong attaches great importance to its close trade and economic ties with the regional bloc, noting that ASEAN has long been Hong Kong's second-largest trading partner, with their total merchandise trade reaching an all-time high of $165 billion last year.
With the full entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement and the related Investment Agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN in 2021, the trade and economic ties between Hong Kong and the bloc have been elevated to a higher level, Lee said.
He also expressed his gratitude to ASEAN member states for supporting Hong Kong's accession to the RCEP, and looked forward to maintaining communication with the ASEAN Secretariat on relevant issues.
Duncan Chiu, a member of Lee’s delegation and president of the Hong Kong Information Technology Joint Council, told China Daily that face-to-face meetings are far more effective than online conversations, and the delegation is eager to explore opportunities for cooperation with representatives of Indonesian enterprises.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu meets with the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo on July 25, 2023, in Jakarta, Indonesia. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Duncan Chiu, a member of the delegation, said he is looking forward to more productive meetings with Indonesian science and technology companies, seeking greater collaboration with firms that have seen impressive growth in recent years
He said while in Singapore, they visited several science and technology parks, conducted a series of business surveys, and exchanged views with officials and business leaders.
Chiu said communication between Singapore and the special administrative region has long been robust. With similarities in their science and technology landscapes and the proliferation of startups, he believes the relationship between the SAR and the Lion City is defined by cooperation, rather than competition.
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He said he had “productive” discussions with Singaporean government departments responsible for entrepreneurship, saying this will pave the way for more in-depth cooperation between the two cities.
Potential areas of collaboration include facilitating market access for businesses to enter each other’s markets more smoothly. Another possibility is merging entrepreneurial teams from both sides, and leveraging their complementary strengths to boost the scope of business ventures, Chiu said. He said he will lead a Hong Kong science and technology delegation to Singapore in September this year.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu meets with Zhou Kan (left), Charge d'Affaires ad Interim and Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia, on July 25, 2023, in Jakarta, Indonesia. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Chiu also emphasized that personal visits have been rare since the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has made the delegation’s current tour more meaningful. He is looking forward to more productive meetings with Indonesian science and technology companies, seeking greater collaboration with firms that have seen impressive growth in recent years.
Lee’s delegation, comprising senior SAR government officials and 30 representatives of various business sectors, began its seven-day tour of Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia on Sunday.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu (fourth right, front row) poses for a group photo with other guests before a luncheon hosted by Zhou Kan, Charge d'Affaires ad Interim and Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia, on July 25, 2023, in Jakarta, Indonesia. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
The trip is aimed at introducing Hong Kong’s unique advantages to political and business leaders in the three countries, and encouraging ASEAN enterprises to expand their operations in Hong Kong. Lee also plans to solicit support for Hong Kong’s accession to the RCEP – the world’s largest free trade bloc by gross domestic product.
The delegation will arrive in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday and return to Hong Kong on Saturday.
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