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Retirement awareness boosted

Hong Kong is surely the place to be when it comes to financial services. Earlier this year, the Global Financial Centres Index placed Hong Kong as the world's third most competitive financial services centre, just behind New York and London.


And, earlier this month, Hong Kong was named the world's most open economy in the Legatum Institute's inaugural Global Index of Economic Openness. The London-based institute examined the economic systems of nearly 160 economies, measuring how well each enables trade, competition and productivity. No one does it better than Hong Kong.


Our financial services sector accounts for about 18% of Hong Kong's gross domestic product. And let me add, our life insurance business is a critical component of that.


Much more than a business, life insurance helps enable the financial and emotional well-being of individuals.


To that end, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is also working to better the retirement lives of our citizens.


Last month, we introduced a policy allowing tax deductions for qualifying deferred annuity payments as well as voluntary contributions to mandatory provident fund schemes.


Through this policy, we hope to encourage our working population to make early retirement savings, to cope with the financial risks that longevity can bring. Longevity is part of Hong Kong's future. Indeed, our 65-and-over population is projected to more than double in the next 20 years.


We expect the new policy to raise retirement planning awareness, which can in turn expand retirement planning. And that can also benefit the insurance industry as a whole.


The Government is committed to making life better for the people of Hong Kong at every stage of their lives. And I look forward to working with the life insurance sector to achieve that goal.


Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave these remarks at the 17th Asia Pacific Life Insurance Congress 2019 Hong Kong on May 30.

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