Top Stories : Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Pays Official Visit to Thailand news3

Top Stories : Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Pays Official Visit to Thailand

      During 27 - 28 February 2019, the Honourable Mrs. Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China paid an official visit to Thailand to officiate the Opening Ceremony of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in Thailand as guest of H.E. Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand. 
 
      During the visit, apart from attending the Opening Ceremony of the HKETO in Thailand, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, accompanied by the Honourable Bernard Chan, Convenor of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong SAR, and the Honourable Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong SAR, also paid a courtesy call on H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, at the Government House, and had a discussion with H.E. Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, together with Thai business leaders. Chief Executive Carrie Lam also had a meeting with H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additionally, she also witnessed the signing of four Memoranda of Understanding at the Thailand - Hong Kong Strategic Partnership Seminar and attended the activities celebrating the cooperation between Zuni Icosahedron, a Hong Kong art troupe, and the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.
 
      During the meetings, Chief Executive Carrie Lam expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Royal Thai Government for its support for the establishment of the HKETO in Thailand, the 13th in the world and the 3rd in ASEAN (The 1st and 2nd Office in ASEAN are in Singapore and Indonesia repectively). Chief Executive Carrie Lam also stressed that the HKETO in Thailand was successfully set up only within 17 months. This was her first opening of an HKETO since assuming her office in 2017. In addition, Chief Executive Carrie Lam also thanked the Royal Thai Government for its continued support for advancing the ASEAN - Hong Kong SAR FTA and the Agreement on Investment between ASEAN and Hong Kong SAR, and hoped that the early entry into force of the two agreements would help increase the trade volume between the two sides and contribute to the achievement of the Thai - Hong Kong trade target of USD 20 billion in 2020. 
 
      Both sides also exchanged views on ways to further strengthen Thai - Hong Kong cooperation, especially in such potential areas as trade, investment, finance, digital-economy, technology, innovation, cyber security, startups, tourism, education, culture, and creative industry. 

      In this connection, Chief Executive Carrie Lam also agreed to encourage representatives from both public and private sectors from Hong Kong to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) of Thailand, particularly in the areas of finance, infrastructure, innovation and technology. This would further enhance the linkages between Thailand, as ASEAN’s digital hub, and Hong Kong, as an innovation and technology hub for the Guangdong - Hong Kong - Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), which was in accordance with the Outline Development Plan for the GBA or the “GBA Blueprint,” announced by the Government of the PRC on 18 February 2019, and supported the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

      During the discussion between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed the importance of Connectivity and Sustainable Development that Thailand, as ASEAN Chair, would promote during its Chairmanship. This would possibly include the invitation to other ASEAN Member States by Thailand to consider participating and developing a link with GBA, particularly Hong Kong’s proposal to hold a business seminar on the potential of GBA during the second half of 2019 in Bangkok, which would pave the way for more interaction between GBA and countries in the region.
 
      During the past two years, Thailand - Hong Kong relations have been very dynamic. Since assuming her office, Chief Executive Carrie Lam had visited Thailand three times. Tangible outcomes include the launch of the Mutual Use of the Automatic Immigration Service (Autogate) on 15 September 2018 and the opening of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Bangkok, Thailand, on 28 February 2019. The said achievements have greatly promoted greater people - to - people contacts. Additionally, much more cooperation in all dimensions could be expected between Thailand - Hong Kong, especially in the areas of economic and human resource development.