HONG KONG, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor Wednesday embarked on a visit to Singapore and Thailand, hoping to further boost ties between the HKSAR and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
This is Lam's first visit outside the HKSAR as the chief executive.
Choosing the two ASEAN member states as the destination for her first visit was because "ties between Hong Kong and ASEAN are very close", with ASEAN being Hong Kong's second largest goods trade partner, Lam told the media Wednesday morning before departure.
To further enhance Hong Kong-ASEAN ties in trade and investment, the two sides have been promoting negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) for years, she said, adding that the FTA is hopefully to be announced and signed before the end of this year.
According to the HKSAR government, Lam will stay in Singapore until Thursday evening to meet senior Singapore government officials, attend a celebration event for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, and visit facilities including an innovation lab for digital services.
She will then head to Bangkok, Thailand and will meet senior Thai government officials and business leaders, as well as officials from other ASEAN countries.