Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko disembarks from a plane. Photo: Reuters / Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Hong Kong has reached a consensus with Belarus on mutual visa exemption and will relax visa requirements for Cambodian nationals, the city’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced on Wednesday morning.

Such measures can “foster co-operation and exchanges between Hong Kong and countries along the Belt and Road”, Leung said in his annual Policy Address, which offered an assessment of the Asian financial hub’s development.

Cambodia, however, remains on a list of seven countries – including Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Nepal and Vietnam – that still face varying degrees of discrimination in applying for non-tourist visas to enter Hong Kong. Nepalese journalist Bibek Bhandari saw his work visa denied simply on the grounds of his nationality.

The incumbent Leung has closely followed the central government’s “One Belt One Road” policy. He mentioned “Belt and Road” 42 times during his three-hour Policy Address last year and subsequently set up a Belt and Road Office in Hong Kong.