The qualities that have made Hong Kong such a unique and successful city have been rigorously protected over the past year, Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa said Friday.
"These include the rule of law, the civic freedoms and the commitment to allow the market to lead, with the government facilitating with the provision of the essential infrastructure," Tung said in his opening message of a report on Hong Kong's key issues.
The 28-page report released Friday covers issues such as the new team at the top of the administration, Brand Hong Kong, international events, the economy and constitutional development.
Tung said Hong Kong had successfully emerged from the Asian financial crisis with a strong recovery and economic growth of 10.5 percent last year, he added.
"First quarter GDP figures indicated that we can expect growth of about 3 percent this year. The final out-turn will depend very much on the performance of the United States, Japan and European economies," he said.
"But we remain optimistic because we have a positive factor to our advantage and that is the rapidly opening up and expanding China's mainland economy, which is forecast to grow by 7 percent to 8 percent this year," he noted.
Tung said that Hong Kong remained the ideal location from which to capitalize on expanding business opportunities on the mainland.
Hong Kong's professional and service industries would take full advantage of the opening up of different sectors of the mainland economy following China's accession to the WTO, he said.
"This will provide new opportunities to our service industries, " he said, adding that a major new long-term program had been launched to better promote Hong Kong internationally as Asia's world city.
On the Brand Hong Kong program, Tung said, "a dynamic and energetic dragon has been chosen as our new global brand." "The dragon represents the dynamism and creativity of our city and will be used to help focus greater attention on all of the strengths and advantages that Hong Kong brings to its business and investment partners throughout the world," he said.