A new paradigm for the new year
A year of construction, development, and celebrations for the 25th anniversary

1 January 2022

As we ring in the New Year of 2022, I would like to extend my best regards to all citizens of Hong Kong, wishing everyone a prosperous and healthy year ahead.

Although the year of 2021 was full of challenges and still plagued by the COVID-19 epidemic, Hong Kong has generally resumed normal activities and our economy has seen steady recovery. More importantly, security and stability have been restored in our society and the city has returned to normality.

Year of Construction

The Hong Kong National Security Law has erected a protective wall for national security while the improved electoral system has put the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” into practice. Getting back to the right track of “One Country, Two Systems”, our city is emerging from an era of destruction into an era of construction.

The seventh term of the Legislative Council (LegCo) will commence in January and the 90 elected Members will take part in the Oath-taking Ceremony on January 3. I, together with the Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux, look forward to constructive communication and co-operation with the new-term LegCo Members for building Hong Kong.

Year of Development

The country is always our strongest and most reliable backer. A bright future is awaiting us as long as we leverage the Central Government’s policies in support of the HKSAR. The National 14th Five-Year Plan puts forward a number of initiatives to support Hong Kong, one of which is to consolidate and upgrade our status as international financial, transportation and trade centres, as well as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region (i.e. the four traditional centres). Another is to support Hong Kong’s development in four emerging sectors to become an international aviation hub, an international innovation and technology (I&T) hub, a regional intellectual property trading centre, and a hub for arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world. In the coming year down the road, the Government will continue to boost the competitiveness of Hong Kong and proactively integrate into the overall development of our country by capitalising on the advantages of “One Country, Two Systems” as well as the opportunities brought about by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the Belt and Road Initiative. Hong Kong is set to scale new heights as we sustain our efforts towards further development of the city.

We will also continue to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as an international metropolis, actively explore overseas opportunities and connect with the world, thereby consolidating Hong Kong’s function as a global gateway and enhancing its role as an international city.

Year of Celebrations

The year of 2022 marks the momentous occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR. As the Chairman of the Steering Committee overseeing the celebratory preparations, I officiated three days ago at the launch ceremony which served as a prelude to the rich array of celebrations this year. Over a hundred events have been planned worldwide and many more activities for public participation are in the pipeline. I am delighted to see that numerous groups and community organisations have started to line up celebration events to show patriotism for the country and their love for the city. All these events could surely bring the celebratory ambience across the territory.

Centred around the theme of “A New Era - Stability • Prosperity • Opportunity”, the celebration events will not only commemorate Hong Kong’s impressive achievements over the past 25 years, but also underscore our confidence in a brighter future. The sub-theme of “A New Era - Stability and Prosperity” emphasises Hong Kong’s successful implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” under the country’s staunch support over the past 25 years, with its role as an international metropolis sustained and its status as the four traditional centres developed. The sub-theme of “A New Era - Opportunity” accentuates Hong Kong’s new development paradigm along its journey of progressing from chaos to order and even towards greater prosperity while emerging from an era of destruction into an era of construction, which is made possible by the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law, the improved electoral system and the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, despite the numerous adversities that came along over the past quarter century. Under the national development of the 14th Five-Year Plan and the GBA, the city is poised to develop itself into the eight centres as mentioned above. I have every confidence that Hong Kong will be blessed with a brighter future.

Globally, the 14 overseas Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices will organise a host of activities, such as the “Hong Kong Week” in Bangkok, Thailand and the “Hong Kong Month” in some European cities, in a bid to promote Hong Kong’s unique strengths and boundless business opportunities to the world, and strengthen its status and attractiveness as an international city.

Locally, the Government is about to recruit young people to become Youth Ambassadors for the 25th Anniversary celebrations, which will enhance their personal development and broaden their horizons. To encourage young people to pursue their career in the field of I&T, we will organise a series of related celebration events, such as the “Tech Summit of the Greater Bay Area Association of Academicians” and the “Internet Economy Summit 2022”. These events will not only showcase Hong Kong’s remarkable efforts in promoting the new economic driver and emerging industries in recent years, but also cultivate young people’s interest in I&T.

What’s more will be a full range of diversified events suitable for citizens of different ages and interests, such as arts-cum-technology events for families, as well as carnivals, aquatic games, family camp, pet carnival to be held in parks for both young and old. Arts enthusiasts must not miss the performing arts carnivals which feature the talent of our local artists. Though by no means exhaustive, the above are some of the events which have been finalised. While many more appealing programmes are being planned by policy bureaux and departments (B/Ds), we encourage and welcome all sectors of the community to host different activities to bring the joy of celebrations to everyone.

Amid the celebrations, we must remain vigilant in our fight against the epidemic. I have asked B/Ds and related organisers to take adequate infection control measures and draw up alternative plans as appropriate in advance so as to make the celebration events safe and enjoyable for all.