And Sandra Lee, Permanent Secretary for Economic Development of the Government of Hong Kong, is at the center of this dynamic, with responsibilities that include logistics, aviation, ports, energy, postal services, meteorological services, competition policy, consumer protection and tourism.
In a breakfast meeting with members of the Milken Institute Associates and invited guests, Lee painted a positive picture of Hong Kong's future. After suffering through the financial crises of the late 1990s, the SARS scare and other blows to the economy, the city has recovered nicely, she said.
"Last year was very good for Hong Kong," she said, pointing out that Hong Kong's GDP was up 7 percent in 2005.
Lee and others in her delegation, including Alan Lee, Chairman of Hong Kong Container Terminal Operators Association, and Willy Lin, Chairman of Hong Kong Shippers' Council, described the growing competition in China, but they said they are working well with mainland China's leaders.
She discussed the Hong Kong government's policies on economic and trade development, the impact that proposed new shipyards in Shanghai will have on their competitive relationship with the mainland and environmental pollution.
Ms. Lee was appointed to the Administrative Service of the Hong Kong Government in 1979. Over the years, she has worked in a number of policy and resource bureaus at the Government Secretariat and overseas offices in Washington, D.C. and London. More recently Ms. Lee served as Director-General of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London and Secretary for Economic Services. She has been in her present post as Permanent Secretary for Economic Development since July 2002.
The "Off the Record With..." series of private meetings with individuals of distinction is open to members of the Milken Institute Associates. To join, please contact Mindy Silverstein, Director of Milken Institute Associates, at (310) 570-4634, or by e-mail at msilverstein @milkeninstitute.org.