Myanmar-HK ties boosted by CE visit

On September 15, she met with senior Myanmar government officials in Nay Pyi Taw.

Mrs Lam first met with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The chief executive said that this is the first ever official visit by the chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) since the city’s return to China’s sovereignty two decades ago and Myanmar is the third ASEAN country she visited after assumption of office some two months ago.

Given that Hong Kong and ASEAN are important trading partners and that Hong Kong and ASEAN have concluded the negotiations on a free trade agreement and a related investment agreement recently, the relationship between Hong Kong and Myanmar would become even closer, according to the city’s leader.

She added that she hoped to work with the Myanmar Government to promote economic development in and the connection of the people from the two places.

Mrs Lam then met with the Vice President U Myint Swe as well as Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Ohn Maung, Union Minister for Commerce U Than Myint and Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Kyaw Win.

During the meetings, she said that the HKSAR government attaches great importance to promoting Hong Kong’s external affairs, and that the second Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in ASEAN was set up in Jakarta last month. In addition to trade and investment, her government is keen to promote co-operation with ASEAN countries in various areas, including tourism, culture and education. Noting that there is strong growth in the bilateral trade between the two regions in recent years and that many Hong Kong businesses are expanding their investment in Myanmar, she expressed the hope that more room for co-operation will be explored through this visit.

On September 16, Mrs Lam attended the 14th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC). The WCEC was attended by some 2,000 Chinese businessmen from around the world. In her keynote address, the city’s leader said that Myanmar’s economic reform and opening up in recent years has brought about strong economic growth and attracted a large number of foreign investors, including those from Hong Kong.

Noting that Hong Kong has been upholding a policy of a free and open economy over the years, she said Hong Kong is well aware of the benefits brought by an open economy, including the recognition as the freest and the most competitive economy in the world.

“Attaching great importance to co-operation with Myanmar as well as other ASEAN members, Hong Kong expects that the Belt and Road Initiative and the development plan of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area of our country will lead us to a new economic era. With both Hong Kong and ASEAN along the Belt and Road, we hope to co-operate with Myanmar as well as other ASEAN countries to seize the opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative,” she said.

In the afternoon, Mrs Lam visited the Secretariat Building, the former government headquarters with a history of more than a century, to learn about its future revitalisation plan.

The chief executive then toured a garment factory set up by Hong Kong investors. The factory commenced production in 2015 and was among the first batch of garment factories opened by Hong Kong businesses in Myanmar.

While hosting a dinner for Hong Kong businesses on the same day, Mrs Lam said that members of the Hong Kong business community can leverage on Myanmar’s advantages on land and manpower resources to explore business opportunities, boosting economic developments in both places.

Source: Myanmar Times