Chief Executive John Lee continued his visit to Saudi Arabia on February 6 by attending a technology conference and exchanging views on fostering co-operation on innovation and technology (I&T) between the two places.
In the morning, Mr Lee met Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi to learn about the large-scale infrastructure projects implemented under the Belt & Road Initiative in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Lee said that the Arab States of the Gulf are key players in the development of the initiative and there is much room for closer and stronger collaboration between Hong Kong and the states.
He also said he believed that enterprises in the area could leverage Hong Kong's unique advantages under the "one country, two systems" principle, its strategic location at the doorstep of the Mainland, as well as its world-class infrastructure and rich pool of professionals to tap into the vast opportunities offered by the Belt & Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Mr Lee later attended the LEAP 2023 technology conference to better understand the latest developments of enterprises from various countries and regions in such areas as I&T and artificial intelligence.
Giving a keynote speech at the event on Hong Kong's vision in fostering I&T development and encouraging global collaboration, Mr Lee stressed that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government attaches great importance to the development of the I&T industry and it will work together with other cities in the bay area in developing an international I&T centre.
Mr Lee said he welcomed technology enterprises from around the globe to capitalise on Hong Kong's advantages of enjoying the country's steadfast support while staying highly connected with the rest of the world, as well as building and expanding their businesses in Hong Kong.
During the conference, Mr Lee also met the President and Chief Executive Officer of state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, Amin H Nasser. Mr Lee and his team introduced Hong Kong's important role as one of the world's leading international financial centres and its unique advantages under the "one country, two systems" principle and the bay area development.
He added that Hong Kong would be able to play a pivotal role in providing comprehensive financial and professional services to the company, including supporting its listing in Hong Kong, handling any of its future funding arrangements and unlocking investing opportunities in Hong Kong.
Mr Lee also pointed out that as the world's largest offshore renminbi hub, Hong Kong could play an active role in the company's diversification and protection of assets.
In the afternoon, Mr Lee and the delegation met Saudi Arabian Minister of Communications & Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha to exchange views on fostering co-operation on I&T between Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.
Afterwards, Mr Lee met Saudi Arabian Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih again.
Mr Lee concluded his visit in Saudi Arabia and departed for Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates in the evening. He will meet local political and business leaders and visit local enterprises in Abu Dhabi on February 7.
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