"Together • Progress • Opportunity" has two meanings. It is about what has happened, and what might happen; of achievements, and of aspirations.
Working together over the past 20 years, Hong Kong people have seized opportunities to progress in many areas. At this moment, we realise that for progress to continue, we must stay strong together to achieve our goals and make the most of new opportunities.
For the HKSAR, togetherness (or connectedness) is the lynchpin. It is both a binding force, and a driving force. It is a prerequisite for progress, and a partner of opportunity.
It occurs on three levels: in our community; in the relationship with our country; and, on the global stage. How we help each other; how we contribute to our country, and our country supports us; and how we can enrich and expand our extensive network of international connections, here and abroad.
Hong Kong is the premier crossroad between East and West, a multicultural, modern metropolis with a distinct flavour and character. As a free and open society, Hong Kong's diverse community upholds the principles of mutual respect and inclusiveness. Our neighbourhood spirit and cohesive synergy have helped the city go from strength to strength, allowing us to contribute to the motherland while maintaining our global outlook.
Progress can be measured in many ways. Economic data, social indicators, productivity; academic achievements; sports and cultural pursuits, green living, heritage protection; inclusiveness, diversity, care for the underprivileged. The HKSAR has a good story to tell in all these areas, and more. Many big projects are underway. These provide a glimpse of how the city will progress over the next five to 10 years and beyond. Progress in some areas (for example, urban development, infrastructure, education) will provide new opportunities for economic progress. In other areas (care for the needy, support for the elderly, health services) reflect our progress as a modern society.
In many ways, the HKSAR is still a work in progress. We have gained much experience implementing "One Country, Two Systems" over the past 20 years. And we still have much to learn as we continue this historic undertaking to integrate a mature capitalist city with a global outlook into a rapidly reforming and progressing country. When we talk of integration, it does not mean absorption or dilution. It means making the best use of our strengths and abilities as a distinct and different system within one country for mutual benefit. Think of an integrated circuit that includes a special "super-connecter" chip that functions like no other chip, and enhances overall performance. This is the role that the HKSAR plays in the "motherboard" of China.
Opportunity knocks. It can happen by chance. It can be nurtured or created. Opportunity is about choice. Realising an opportunity starts with the action of an individual. People with a vision, the spirit of progress, resilience and determination. Hong Kong is full of such people, who have grown up locally or have come from all over the world.
The HKSAR Government plays an important role enabling opportunity, through our institutional setup, policies and actions. Clean, efficient government. Trusted legal system. Safe, secure and law-abiding society. Low taxes. Freedom of information. Business-friendly practices. Market access agreements. World-class infrastructure. Large investments in innovation and technology, education and training. All this, and more, is about empowering individuals and business to pursue their goals. The Government strives constantly to provide the economic opportunities needed to create employment and new businesses. By doing so, we can continue to help those less fortunate, build stronger community spirit and contribute to Hong Kong’s ongoing development.