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SCA: MFA supportive of raising HK's international profile

The following is the transcript (English portion) of a standup briefing by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in Beijing this afternoon (January 20):

SCA: I am visiting Beijing this time at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is an annual visit. This provides us with the opportunity to review Hong Kong's conduct of external affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is very supportive of raising Hong Kong's international participation and status.

This morning I had a session with Vice-Minister Mr Zhou Wenzhong and he was very supportive of the fact that Hong Kong has succeeded in securing the right to host the WTO Ministerial Conference later this year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also applied themselves very fully to help secure the right for Hong Kong to host the International Telecommunication Union's international conference in 2006. This is the first time that international conference is being held outside of Switzerland. This will enhance Hong Kong's status as an international telecommunications centre. It will also raise Hong Kong's international profile.

Tomorrow I will be visiting the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office. I will take the opportunity to report to officials of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office on two fronts.

Firstly, after releasing our Fourth Report of the Constitutional Development Task Force, we have already commenced public consultation in Hong Kong.

Secondly, as regards "9+2" forum, recently we held a Secretaries-General meeting in Sichuan and it will be useful for us to have the opportunity to exchange views in this particular regard.

Finally, after visiting Beijing, I will be going to Nanjing. This will give me an opportunity to understand more about development in the Yangtze River Delta. This will complement the work which we need to do in Hong Kong in terms of pushing forward co-operation under the "9+2" forum umbrella.

Ends/Thursday, January 20, 2005