Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor delivered her policy address on Wednesday, highlighting economics, housing, livelihood and the development of innovation and technology.
It was Lam's first policy address since she was sworn in on July 1.
Lam said that in the coming few years, Hong Kong is entering a period when opportunities and challenges co-exist. The Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development of the country will bring enormous opportunities for Hong Kong's economy.
Hong Kong's economy expanded by 4.0 percent in real terms year-on-year in the first two quarters of 2017.
"Barring abrupt negative shocks externally, our overall economic growth this year is expected to go higher than 3.5 percent, the mid-point in the earlier forecast range of 3-4 percent, and would fare better than the annual average of 2.9 percent over the past decade," she added.
However, Lam said, in order to sustain these favorable trends for Hong Kong's economy, diversifying the economy is the only solution. The current-term Hong Kong SAR government is determined to boost the development of emerging industries in addition to traditional industries, and considers that both innovation and technology (I&T) and the creative industries have a competitive edge and much potential.
Taking into account the investment return previously injected into the Housing Reserve, the SAR government currently has a fiscal reserve in excess of 1,000 billion HK dollars (about 128.2 billion US dollars).
"We are well positioned to use our accumulated fiscal surpluses, which are wealth derived from the community, wisely to benefit the community," she said, adding that on people's livelihood, meeting the public's housing needs is the SAR government's top priority.