Speech at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Fourth Term Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
by Mr C Y Leung, the Chief Executive of HKSAR
at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
July 1, 2012
Honourable President Hu, fellow people of Hong Kong, ladies and gentlemen,
Today, I humbly take office as the fourth-term Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. During my tenure, I will fulfill the trust placed in me by the Central Government and the people of Hong Kong with policy achievements. I will spare no effort to carry out my election platform and lead Hong Kong in “seeking change while preserving stability”. My goal is to develop the economy, improve people’s livelihood, promote democracy and build a more prosperous, progressive and righteous society.
Our country has given us staunch support since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. Ample opportunities have emerged. Not only have these guided and spurred our city’s development, they have also enabled us to contribute to the reform and opening-up of our nation. We will continue working tirelessly towards the betterment and prosperity of both our country and Hong Kong.
With the efforts of our entire community, we have successfully implemented the concept of “One Country, Two Systems” and the principle of “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” with a high degree of autonomy over the past 15 years. I wish to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to my predecessors, the Honourable Tung Chee-hwa and the Honourable Donald Tsang. Their relentless efforts have laid down a solid foundation for the successful implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” in Hong Kong. I would also like to thank the Election Committee members and the Hong Kong community, whose participation has brought substantive meaning to this election. I hope that the entire community will render their concerted effort in building the future of Hong Kong.
Since I declared my decision to stand for election for the Chief Executive, I have made over 100 district visits and reached out to over 10 000 people from different strata and sectors of society. In the next five years, my team and I will continue to stay in close touch with the people, so as to narrow both the physical and psychological distances between the Government and the community. We will listen carefully to people’s suggestions and ideas. We will respond to their views and needs in a pragmatic manner.
In my election declaration, I stressed that “there is no need for a major reversal of policy. We only need an appropriately proactive government which seeks change while maintaining stability.” From today, we will turn words into deeds. We will focus our energy on addressing the major and pressing issues. To formulate effective policies and strategies, the preparatory task forces on Economic Development Commission, Financial Services Development Council and Commission on Poverty will commence operation today. They will address issues from a high-level perspective and with inter-departmental and cross-sector collaboration. We will ensure that both policy research and implementation deliver results.
Continued economic development is the foundation of Hong Kong’s prosperity. The livelihoods of our people depend on it. Our business and financial sectors have been the major driving forces behind Hong Kong’s economic development. To promote sustained and robust economic development, the Government must assist investors and enterprises, large and small, to seize opportunities arising from our nation’s and the world’s economic growth. Economic diversification and thriving industries can improve our job market, provide better opportunities for upward mobility and contribute to a stronger middle class.
Our country has given Hong Kong strong backing in the National 12th Five-Year Plan. We must capitalise on the opportunities to consolidate and elevate Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre and help the shipping industry to restructure and upgrade. We must also fully implement all economic and trade agreements signed with Mainland counterparts to expand job opportunities and development potential in the Mainland for Hong Kong people. We also need to formulate industry policy to promote and support the pillar industries that are essential to our economic development, including supporting Hong Kong enterprises operating outside Hong Kong and new industries with growth potential. We fully recognise the contribution to our economy by Hong Kong businesses operating in the Mainland and will continue to support their restructuring and upgrading.
For our economy to flourish, we must ensure that issues relating to our population and livelihood are properly addressed. The quality of our society depends on the quality of our people, which in turn depends on the quality of education. My Government will carry out long-term planning on population policy to improve our population structure and the quality of our people. This will sustain steady development of our society and economy, create a bright future for individuals and nurture outstanding talents for society. To this end, education policies must be devised from a professional perspective, taking a student-oriented approach to enable students to equip themselves well and achieve their full potential.
It is a common aspiration for people to own their own home. Housing tops the list of livelihood issues that are of public concern. I believe that housing issues should be tackled through planning and supply. We need to provide more public housing and assist low-income groups to secure flats. Public housing resources should be allocated in a fair and reasonable way to increase circulation. We need to increase land supply appropriately to maintain a stable property market and assist middle-income families to buy their own homes. To enhance the sense of belonging in our society and promote social mobility, we will also encourage home purchase. We will formulate a long-term housing strategy, improve district planning and set up a land reserve to respond swiftly to changes in market. This will enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong and improve the quality of life for our people.