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The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) held its First Anniversary Dinner today (17 December). Mr John Tsang, Acting Chief Executive, and Mr Shen Chong, Director General of the Coordination Department, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, attended as the officiating guests. More than 20 bureau and permanent secretaries, as well as numerous representatives from various trade associations, public institutions, professional and social bodies, political parties and media organisations were also present to show their support. BPA members were also out in strength and celebrated the milestone event in their own unique and spectacular ways.
Distinguished guests from different backgrounds and interests filling 28 tables were on hand to share a giant birthday cake that had been prepared specially for the occasion. Prominent members of the BPA and the officiating guests presided over a simple but dignified cake-cutting and toasting ceremony in a display of support for and to express well-wishes to the BPA’s bright and successful future.
Mr Andrew Leung, BPA Chairman, conveyed his gratitude for the support from members of the political and business sectors in his welcome speech. In the same speech, he described Hong Kong’s youth as the girder of the SAR’s future, and Hong Kong’s middle-class as the pillar of Hong Kong’s economy. This philosophy of “girder and pillar” will underpin the BPA’s work going forward. He commended the District Councilors’ for their distinguished public service and their tireless efforts in promoting closer ties between the BPA and the general public. Currently, a total of 25 District Councilors has joined the BPA, of which 3 are District Council chairmen. The BPA is committed fully to strengthening linkages with the industrial, commercial and professional sectors to fulfill its vision of “a business stimulates economy and Professionalism improves livelihood”.
Mr Peter Lam, BPA Council Chairman, expressed his wish for Hong Kong’s future development by quoting lyrics from a local pop classic, Under the Lion Rock. He stressed the need to put aside our differences and work closely together to realise the vision of a better Hong Kong. At the same time, local society should do its utmost to seek common ground and be more willing to accommodate differences if we were to overcome future challenges. BPA members will leverage on their extensive networks and place in society to speak out for the silent majority of middle-class, strive for more upwardly mobile opportunities among youths, and work towards a more business-friendly environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In a nutshell, the BPA would exercise its mandate as a bridge of understanding by reflecting current public sentiment to government in a timely and accurate manner.
The celebrations provided a showcase for BPA members to exhibit their talents beyond politics. Mr Jeffrey Lam, BPA Vice Chairman, conveyed his “happy birthday” wishes through sign language; Dr Lo Wai-kwok, co-BPA Vice Chairman, performed various numbers movingly on his beloved saxophone; and Mr Abraham Shek, BPA Secretary-General, collaborated with Dr Lo in singing the classic song What a Wonderful World, which they dedicated to a better and progressive Hong Kong.
Mr William So, a renowned local artist and Mr Samuel Lau, a contestant on The Voice, a reality TV singing competition, were part of a stellar line-up of performers, which included a group comprising young people and BPA Councilors who gave a powerful and heartfelt rendition of the local hit, Red Sun. Celebrations reached a climax as BPA members, government officers and Councilors from other parties took to the the stage and sang the local classics, Under the Lion Rock and Friend of Mine.
The BPA pledges to continue its work of serving Hong Kong and in laying a solid foundation for our future generations. We shall facilitate effective communication and promote stronger interaction among business and industry sectors, between professionals and the general public, and shall maintain close contacts with political groups and think tanks across the political spectrum to explore more opportunities for cooperation, as well as identifying initiatives that are conducive to the longer term progress and development of Hong Kong’s economy and livelihood of its people.
Please check out more pictures in the Photo Gallery.
Video on Celebrations for the BPA’s First Anniversary