The Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, and the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Hermes Tang, officiated at a reception today (January 26) in celebrating the 2018 International Customs Day (ICD).
This year, the World Customs Organization (WCO) dedicates the theme of ICD to be "Security of the Business Environment", complemented by the slogan of "A Secure Business Environment for Economic Development".
Officiating at the reception, Mr Cheung said that a secure and competitive business environment is of utmost importance for Hong Kong. He recognises Hong Kong Customs' devotion in mastering the dual role of a regulator and a facilitator which contributes to the creation of a favorable business environment and long-term economic development of Hong Kong.
Mr Cheung added that the Hong Kong Authorized Economic Operator Programme and the Trade Single Window are exemplary measures to enhance cross border supply chain security and facilitate movement of legitimate goods. With future extension of the Single e-lock Scheme to cover new vehicular control points, Hong Kong's competitiveness would further be strengthened with new economic and trade ties along the Belt and Road corridors.
In his remarks, Mr Tang highlighted the substantial role played by Hong Kong Customs in the 21st century amid the changing landscape of the international trade. He gave an introduction of various measures that the department has put in place to create a favorable environment supporting Hong Kong's economic growth.
Mr Tang added that Hong Kong Customs would perform its enhanced roles as "promoter" and "facilitator" in full scale in order to meet the country's developments, in particular those under the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development and the Belt and Road Initiative. The year round recruitment campaign for about a thousand frontline officers is in progress to cope with growing demand for quality customs services.
Hong Kong Customs has celebrated the ICD since Hong Kong became a member of the WCO in 1987. At the reception, Mr Cheung presented WCO Certificates of Merit to officers of Hong Kong Customs and business stakeholders in recognition of their efforts contributing to a secure business environment for economic development.
About 370 guests, including Members of the Executive and Legislative Councils, HKSAR Government officials, Consuls General, foreign Customs attaches and representatives from Customs administrations of the Mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as private sector stakeholders, attended the reception.
Ends/Friday, January 26, 2018