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Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 00:07

Lam: Free-market system will remain unchanged

By Luis Liu

HONG KONG - The city’s free-market capitalist system will remain unchanged as it is the best one for the city’s development, Chief Executive contender Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Monday.

Free-market capitalism was the powerhouse behind Hong Kong’s success in economic development, Lam told business leaders.

The city’s free-market capitalist system will remain unchanged as it is the best one for the city’s development, Chief Executive contender Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said

Lam rejected speculation that she would embrace welfarism if elected. She quoted the Basic Law which stresses that maintaining capitalism is part of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.

According to Article 5 of the Basic Law, the socialist system and policies will not be practiced in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The capitalist system and way of life will remain unchanged for 50 years.

Reflecting on her career, Lam said she had always worked well with the business sector. She said that in the next few days she will meet business leaders, address their concerns and promote her vision.

However, she also stood firm on her pledge to boost livelihood measures.

“While capitalism remains the best formula for Hong Kong’s development… what have happened in city and elsewhere in the world proved that the government must have a role in the distribution of wealth, alleviating the poor and creating opportunities for young people,” Lam explained.

Lam said she noticed the younger generation’s concerns about the lack of upward mobility and the high cost of housing. Pledging policies for the city’s youth, she called on them to “reignite Hong Kong’s can-do spirit”.

The head of Lam’s campaign office Bernard Chan, who is also a businessman, said a large number of business leaders had voiced support for Lam.

He believed the city’s business community had the will and passion to help address deep-rooted social problems.

The election campaign will not focus on any individual sector or group of people, but society as a whole, Chan said.

“Working together, we can seize many opportunities to develop the economy, create quality jobs and improve livelihoods, to take Hong Kong to new heights,” Lam said.

luisliu@chinadailyhk.com

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