First, I would like to welcome you all to this Celebration Cocktail.
The reunification of Hong Kong with China is a major world event, and is great cause for celebration. I am very pleased that we were able to witness this historic moment, which is very meaningful for all Chinese.
In the 20 plus years since Cheung Kong became a listed company, our business has grown with the times. Today our Group has a total market capitalisation of HK$500 billion. The concerted efforts of our management team and staff have made us a leader not only in Hong Kong but also among global multi-nationals. We are also grateful to all those who have given their support to the Group.
The reunification marks the beginning of a new era for Hong Kong. The mainland is determined to continue its reforms and open door policies, which will yield many opportunities for Hong Kong to participate in the mainland’s growth. Our Group’s investments in the mainland have reached a historic high, particularly in the area of infrastructure. These projects help speed up the mainland’s development while providing good returns. Our Group’s businesses in Hong Kong and around the globe are also maintaining their steady growth.
I am confident that the future of the mainland and Hong Kong will be great and that the Pearl of the Orient will shine even more brightly. Under the guarantee of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and the Basic Law, Hong Kong will continue to enjoy stability and prosperity. The Group will continue to be based in Hong Kong to develop our diversified businesses. Today, the Group boasts a total of over 58,000 staff world-wide. What gives me great pride and joy is neither our market capitalisation nor our ranking among the top 100 companies in the world, but rather, our loyal, dedicated and innovative management team who have shown outstanding performance and great leadership skills, and a group of well-trained, ambitious, hardworking staff who work so well individually and collectively. Our 58,000-plus employees are our Group’s greatest asset. We have achieved outstanding success not only in Hong Kong but also in the mainland as well as in a number of advanced industrialised nations. Of course, there are many reasons for our success. But one of the important factors is that regardless of nationality, as long as a person shows good performance and is loyal to the company, he or she will be considered a member of our family, for better or for worse, and without exception. This is a long-term, fundamental policy which applies to all the countries where we have operations. That is why I feel that our businesses and prospects will transcend national borders. As the Chinese saying goes, “A good policy will find universal acceptance.” Another old saying goes, “Nothing is possible without trust”. Having worked together for many years, I believe that you all know how much I value the word “trust”. The policy I have just stated above absolutely will not change. Today, as we gather here as one big family, I believe that everyone can look forward to a better tomorrow.