Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa said Wednesday the city "will see a bumper year ahead" after several downturn years, at his spring reception at Government House.
Tung said that during the New Year holidays Hong Kong has been bustling with people, sales and business and uplifting scenes that have not been seen for years.
"The long and cold winter is over and now our economy has entered a blossoming new season of spring," he told the guests.
"Even more delightfully, the mainland is thriving with life and vitality. It gives a powerful impetus to our economic revival. All indicators point to progress in economic restructuring and development," said the chief executive.
Tung noted he is meanwhile fully aware of the keen wish of the community at large that the government should ensure social stability and revive the economy while allowing people a respite to build up their strength. The government will therefore forge ahead with the economic revival plans outlined in the policy address.
"We will get closer to the people and promote 'people-based' governance; and we will seriously and properly handle the constitutional review for the healthy development of Hong Kong," said Tung.
"I believe all of you and the whole community share my feeling that Hong Kong once again enjoys immense opportunities after overcoming the challenges of recent years. The implementation of CEPA, the launch of 'individual visits' by mainland residents, enhanced cooperation with Guangdong and Shanghai, the establishment of local Renminbi banking services, active public listing and expansion of mainland enterprises in our market, and the flourishing logistics industry all offer tremendous opportunities to Hong Kong and our people."
"I hope that all sectors of our community can seize this ideal moment to succeed in their business and scale new heights," said Tung.
Tung pledged that government is making every effort to widen the frontiers of cooperation with the mainland, and the Central Government will continue to give strong support to these efforts.
"Good news will keep pouring in throughout the year ahead," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2004)