February 6, 2023
RIYADH – Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu on Sunday begins his eight-day visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a star-studded delegation and a tight schedule for exchanges and promising opportunities.
The visit, Lee’s first overseas visit this year, aims at promoting the city on all fronts to actively seek its global roles in post-pandemic development.
The Saudi government has been “quite positive” for interactions, Lee told reporters at a briefing on Saturday. Lee departed for Riyadh on Saturday with several high-ranking officials and over 30 high-level representatives of various sectors.
Speaking before leaving Hong Kong, Lee said during the high-profile visit, he will meet with high-ranking local government officials, business leaders and visit local enterprises, attend forums and exchange activities on Hong Kong’s latest developments and investment and business opportunities.
Speaking before leaving Hong Kong, Lee said during the high-profile visit, he will meet with high-ranking local government officials, business leaders and visit local enterprises, attend forums and exchange activities on Hong Kong’s latest developments and investment and business opportunities
As successful economies, Saudi Arabia and UAE were picked as Lee’s first overseas visit after Hong Kong resumed cross-boundary travels with the Chinese mainland in view of their visions and blueprints in finance, innovation and technology and infrastructure and logistics.
Hong Kong’s strengths are in line with their development visions and demands, Lee said, adding that Hong Kong can widen its collaboration with Middle East countries.
In particular, Lee is expected to introduce Hong Kong’s strengths as a global center for finance, trade and logistics, in assets management and risk management and its rich pool of professional talents, such as in project management, architecture design, engineering and supply chain.
Also, Hong Kong is striving to become the international innovation and technology hub and a hub for the arts and cultural exchanges between the Chinese mainland and the rest of the world, unleashing unlimited potential and opportunities for collaboration on all fronts with Middle East economies, Lee explained.
Lee expressed his confidence in the trip for bringing Hong Kong rich opportunities.
The visit of President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia in December laid a good foundation for Hong Kong’s visit to the Middle East to promote the city and deepen their understanding of Hong Kong’s strengths.
Xi’s trip is helpful in deepening Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s understandings of Hong Kong’s strengths, especially about the city’s role as the gateway to the mainland market, which is appealing and enjoys worldwide attention, Lee said.
In particular, Lee said he will actively promote Hong Kong’s unique advantage of enjoying strong support from the central authorities and being closely connected to the world.
“I believe that Saudi and the UAE will actively consider coming to Hong Kong for investment,” Lee said.
The Middle East region is a key link for the Belt and Road Initiative, which has now entered its 10th year this year since it was brought up in 2013 and the visit is a proactive effort of the city’s participation in promoting the initiative.
The delegation also will attend Saudi Arabia-HK Investment Forum and a gala dinner for Chinese New Year. Lee will wrap up his visit on Feb 11.