Carrie Lam says confident Hong Kong will bounce back

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam speaks to the media.

BANGKOK, ANN, Nov 30 - Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Friday (Nov 29) expressed confidence the city will bounce back from its current difficulties.

"Despite the social unrest, I wish to assure our Thai friends that Hong Kong's fundamentals, including our unique strengths under 'one country, two systems', our rule of law and independent judiciary remain strong," the Hong Kong Chief Executive said at a press conference at Government House.

"I and my government are listening to our people, with a view to resolving some deep-seated problems in Hong Kong through dialogue. I have every confidence that Hong Kong can bounce back as we always do," she added.

Mrs Lam was on a one-day mission to woo investors and promote bilateral trade with Thailand.

She signed a number of memorandums of understanding with Deputy Thai Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on Friday morning on bilateral trade with a focus on innovation, creativity, finance, human resources development and start-ups.

Hong Kong is Thailand's ninth-largest trading partner, with total trade volume of US$15.47 billion (S$21.13 billion) last year.

Hong Kong's economy already grew at a sluggish pace by only 0.5 per cent in the first half of 2019, but has taken a nosedive in the second half with a 2.9 per cent year-on-year contraction in the third quarter due to the escalating US-China trade war as well as the continuing anti-government protests in the city.

At the press conference on Friday, Dr Somkid voiced strong support for the embattled Hong Kong leader, saying Thailand had confidence in Mrs Lam's leadership.

This was not the first time the Thai deputy prime minister had publicly backed her amid the crisis in the territory. On Oct 24, while in Hong Kong, he was photographed giving her a bouquet and telling her that Thailand would remain the city's true friend – The Straits Times (Singapore).

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