Lam's visit seeking to bolster HK investment

Lam's visit seeking to bolster HK investment

Chief executive to ink MoU on cooperation

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam speaks at the Thailand-Hong Kong Strategic Partnership event held in February. Ms Lam plans to call on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha Friday evening. Pornprom Satrabhaya
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam speaks at the Thailand-Hong Kong Strategic Partnership event held in February. Ms Lam plans to call on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha Friday evening. Pornprom Satrabhaya

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam is scheduled to arrive in Thailand on Thursday to reinforce cooperation with Thailand on economic matters, as well as innovation, creativity, finance, human resources development and startups.

Ms Lam plans to attend an investment seminar organised by the Board of Investment (BoI) in Bangkok. Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak will give a keynote speech and urge Hong Kong to invest more in Thailand.

A business-matching event on Thursday is expected to attract 60 Thai companies and 50 firms from Hong Kong.

Tomorrow, Ms Lam and Mr Somkid are scheduled to join a meeting of the Hong Kong-Thailand High-Level Joint Committee at Government House and sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the framework for in-depth economic cooperation.

Five MoUs are expected to be signed by related agencies on creativity, securities cross-listing between Thailand and Hong Kong, innovation, human resources development and startups.

Ms Lam plans to call on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tomorrow evening.

Kobsak Pootrakool, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister for political affairs, said the in-depth economic cooperation will include a Hong Kong-Thailand free trade agreement.

"Deepened cooperation will greatly benefit Thailand, which can be a gateway for Hong Kong to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, while Hong Kong can be a gateway for Thailand to China's Greater Bay Area (GBA)," Mr Kobsak said.

The GBA aims to promote cooperation among nine cities in Guangdong -- Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing -- and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, with the aim of developing a world-class city cluster via reforms, innovation and liberalisation.

The GBA is home to more than 70 million people and has a combined GDP of US$1.5 trillion (47 trillion baht). The area has averaged economic growth of 10.7% a year for several decades.

Mr Kobsak said that ahead of Ms Lam's visit, Edward Yau, Hong Kong's secretary for commerce and economic development, and 50 Hong Kong investors from the fields of finance, insurance, real estate and infrastructure, legal and dispute resolution services, energy and environment services, technology and telecommunications and startups, arrived on Wednesday in Thailand.

The Commerce Ministry reported that two-way trade was valued at $15.5 billion in 2018, with exports worth $12.5 billion and imports worth $2.9 billion.


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