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Concluding Remarks

Ready to Face, Dare to Hope

195.     Madam President, Hong Kong has transformed from a small fishing port into a world-renowned international financial centre. The success of this transformation is the result of the perseverance of several generations of people who worked hard and strived for better lives. It is this eternal hope in their hearts that kept them going from generation to generation. Whether they are farmers from Guangdong, businessmen from Shanghai, returning overseas Chinese or expatriates settling in Hong Kong, they came here with a determination to build a better life and develop their careers. They all believed that Hong Kong was a place full of hope and opportunities. They all believed that Hong Kong was a place where they could unleash their potential and fulfil their aspirations. 

196.     Life could be tough for those who came to a new environment. But they all faced the challenges readily, worked hard, lived within their means and carried hope in their hearts. They were convinced that, by making the most of opportunities to learn and to work, they would eventually succeed in their chosen paths. The Government's policies reinforced their convictions that by working hard and investing heavily in the education of their children, they and their families could move up the social ladder and have a bright future. Such convictions gradually become a characteristic of Hong Kong people that can be represented in the slogan "Ready to Face, Dare to Hope".

197.     Hong Kong is now much more prosperous than it was a few decades ago and compared to some neighbouring regions. However, I understand that some poor people in our society still face many pressure and need to work hard to make ends meet. I also understand that Hong Kong as a whole has to face many challenges brought about by rapid changes in the global environment. I am sure that our society can face those challenges with the same measure of resolve and determination as in the past. The Government will endeavour to help relieve the difficulties we may all encounter.

198.     This Budget is prepared against this background. I hope that this Budget will lessen people's burden and help them handle their various challenges. I also hope that through investing heavily in areas such as education, public health care and infrastructure, and vigorously promoting economic development, this Budget will help promote upward social mobility so that people will continue to carry hope in their hearts for a better future.

199.     I pledge that I will adhere to my three principles — commitment to society, sustainability and pragmatism — in management of public finances. These will ensure a stable foundation of public service on which each citizen of Hong Kong can build. Each in our own way and each in our own field, but together with each other, we can build our bright future.

200.     We must be ready to face the realities and challenges of today. We must dare to hope for desires and successes in our future. Hong Kong should have such courage and aspirations, and so should every Hong Kong citizen. Together with each other, let us be "Ready to Face" the present, and let us "Dare to Hope" for our future.



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Last revision date : 14 May, 2008