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Budget Speech


Mr President,

       I move that the Appropriation Bill 2013 be read a second time.


2.    Last month, the Chief Executive announced a series of new policies worth $60 billion in the first Policy Address of the current-term Government.  I shall provide financial resources to fully support these initiatives.  In this Budget, I am going to introduce proposals in four areas, namely developing the economy, optimising human resources, investing in infrastructure and caring for people's livelihood.  I shall also share my thinking about future challenges posed by an ageing population.  The package of measures in this Budget will have a stimulus effect of 1.3 percentage points.  I hope that with these measures, we shall not only promote economic growth and invest in the future, but also improve employment opportunities and people's livelihood in a bid to address the aspirations of different sectors of the community.

3.    This is my sixth year as Financial Secretary.  Looking back, the Hong Kong economy survived a number of major challenges that threatened to bring our external trade and economic growth to a standstill, take unemployment to an all-time high and see investor confidence fall to an all-time low.  I am honoured to have contributed to and steered through the economic rebound and consolidation, shoulder to shoulder with the Hong Kong community.  But the road ahead remains bumpy.  Challenges to Hong Kong's economic growth, commerce and trading, public finance, financial services, land and development matters abound.  With resolve and commitment to serve for the coming five years, I shall continue to do my level best to nurture and grow our economy, to keep Hong Kong a land of opportunities, a place that values fair and just opportunities while caring for the less privileged: a place we truly call home.



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