Speech by STL at Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference (English only) (with photo) 22 November 2022
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, at the Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference today (November 22):
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon. I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful morning session, and I am delighted to join you this afternoon, at the 12th edition of the Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference (ALMAC).
This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong enjoys the most unique advantages with the strong support of the motherland while being closely connected to the world under "one country, two systems". Coupled with our traditional institutional strengths like a simple and low tax regime, a solid foundation of the rule of law and an independent judiciary, Hong Kong remains the preferred location for companies to expand their business in the region. Hong Kong is also renowned as the major international shipping centre and aviation hub in the region because of the world-class transport infrastructure and worldwide connectivity.
National strategies including the National 14th Five-Year Plan, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) development and the Belt and Road Initiative have all injected continuous impetus to the growth of Hong Kong's economy. The National 14th Five-Year Plan has supported Hong Kong to further strengthen and enhance our status as an international shipping centre and aviation hub. We will continue to fully capitalise on the competitive edges of our airport and port to enhance our functions in the global supply chain. Speaking of which, today's conference is very timely for sharing with you our development plan, as well as the immense opportunities in Hong Kong associated with the national development.
This year, the Transport and Housing Bureau of the HKSAR Government was reorganised into a new Transport and Logistics Bureau. The new Bureau allows us to focus more on planning for the development of Hong Kong's logistics industry, which is one of Hong Kong's four pillar industries together with trading. The trading and logistics industry accounts for around one fifth of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and provides more than 600 000 jobs. With the reinforcement of the intermodal operations by integrating air, sea and land transport, Hong Kong will continue to play a key role in the logistics chain of the GBA.
On the maritime front, we have been actively pursuing the smart port initiative and preparing for the phased implementation of the use of electronic certificates for vessels and seafarers, with a view to further enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of our port and marine services. To consolidate Hong Kong's position as an international maritime centre and promote the city's sustainable economic development, we spare no effort in driving the growth of Hong Kong's high-value-added maritime services. To this end, we have further introduced half-rate profits tax concessions, in other words, at a tax rate of 8.25 per cent, to ship agents, ship managers, and ship brokers. We will continue to develop high-value-added maritime services in Hong Kong, with a view to integrating into the country's development course and connecting to the global community.
As for aviation, the Hong Kong International Airport has been one of the world's busiest international airports. To strengthen Hong Kong's status as an international aviation hub, and to cater for the city's long-term air traffic demand, the Hong Kong International Airport is developing into a three-runway system. With the new third runway commencing operation in July this year, the three-runway system is expected to be completed in 2024 and will substantially increase the overall capacity and competitiveness of the airport.
Looking ahead, Hong Kong will always be your best partner in exploring new development opportunities after the pandemic and bringing your business to new heights. With the staunch support of the Central People's Government and the enduring collaboration with partners across the globe, we are here to serve with our best, and we count on you, not only to advance the global supply chain, but also to chart and build an agile, resilient and sustainable system for the future.
In closing, I would like to congratulate the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and other event partners from home and abroad to make the ALMAC 2022 a resounding success. My heartfelt appreciation also goes to the speakers for sharing with us their thoughts and foresights. I wish you all the best of health and a rewarding conference. Thank you.