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HK to remain 'key maritime player' in the Asian region: Carrie Lam


THE Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, has pledged that Hong Kong will continue to be a key maritime player in the Asian region, emphasising that the primacy of free trade in the territory is "immutable".

Speaking at the opening of the two-day eighth edition of the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference (ALMC) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), Ms Lam said that although Hong Kong's local market may be modest, the territory's "ability to serve and create markets, to trade in goods and services with the world, is inexhaustible".

She pointed out that Hong Kong today is home to one of the world's busiest transshipment container ports, serving about 320 liner ships a week and it's linked to more than 470 ports worldwide.

Last year, Hong Kong Port's throughput stood at 20.8 million TEU which accounted for 4 per cent of the throughput of Asia, up 5 per cent over the previous year. Hong Kong's Shipping Register is the world's fourth largest, with a gross tonnage of more than 120 million.

In the air, Ms Lam said that Hong Kong was a "force to be reckoned with" with its airport being the world's busiest international air cargo hub for the past 22 years in a row.

"Our airport handles more than 1,100 flights daily to over 220 destinations, including some 50 Mainland destinations. Last year, we moved 5 million tonnes of cargo and air mail, and handled 73 million international passengers," she said.

The third runway under construction is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2024 and will be will be capable of handling 100 million passengers and 9 million tonnes of cargo annually.

The Chief Executive also explained that the Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau is linked to other cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, which comprises Hong Kong, Macau and nine affluent cities in the Guangdong Province with a population of 70 million and a combined GDP of US$1.5 trillion.

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