Greater success expected for Hong Kong under “one country, two systems”

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A pedestrian walks past a bank's digital screen displaying the Hang Seng Index in Central district of Hong Kong, south China, Jan. 19, 2021.(Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)
A pedestrian walks past a bank's digital screen displaying the Hang Seng Index in Central district of Hong Kong, south China, Jan. 19, 2021.(Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)
Spining

Hong Kong can withstand all challenges and maintain its status as an international financial center as long as it continues to capitalize on its unique advantage of leveraging support from the motherland while engaging the world, integrates into the national development, deepens its connection with the mainland’s financial market, and develops green and sustainable finance, said Laura Cha Shih May-lung, chairperson of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX).

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government has published an official commemorative book to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.

HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in the book’s foreword that the experiences and success stories of the interviewees vividly resonate with the theme of the 25th anniversary “A New Era — Stability, Prosperity, Opportunity.”

The book “not only captures Hong Kong’s impressive achievements over the past two and a half decades, it also underscores everyone’s eager anticipation for a brighter future, Lam said.

Looking ahead, Hong Kong will capitalize on the opportunities presented by the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), and spare no effort in developing the Northern Metropolis for better integration into the national development, she said.

The following are some highlights in the book.

INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTER

Laura Cha Shih May-lung, chairperson of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) and a veteran in Hong Kong’s financial sector for more than three decades, has full confidence in the sector’s future development.

She thinks that Hong Kong can withstand all challenges and maintain its status as an international financial center as long as it continues to capitalize on its unique advantage of leveraging support from the motherland while engaging the world, integrates into the national development, deepens its connection with the mainland’s financial market, and develops green and sustainable finance.

“Being a relatively small economy with a population of just over 7 million, Hong Kong would not have developed into the international financial center it is now without the strong backing of the mainland’s continuous development,” she said.

Hong Kong, while maintaining its strengths, should ride on the mainland’s development and make room for favorable conditions for boosting growth, said Cha.

“We will continue to deepen our mutual market access with the mainland and expand the scope of investment products on both sides. By so doing, we will be able to cater for the needs of our country, and benefit from our integration into the national development,” she added.

INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING CENTER

Sabrina Chao, president of the Baltic and International Maritime Council, said under the “one country, two systems” principle, Hong Kong retains the common law system and the legal commonality is one of the pros that enables Hong Kong’s maritime industry to thrive.

The strength of the mainland lies in hardware, as the speed with which facilities are constructed is beyond compare, and there are talents in new economy and technology too, she said, adding that Hong Kong, on the other hand, has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the realm of shipping.

She calls for “combining the mainland’s manpower resources with the experience of Hong Kong shipowners for new measures that tie in with the development of the GBA and also for the benefit of the long-term development of the industry.”

Hong Kong’s status as an international maritime center is already shipshape, but Chao has higher ambitions. The biggest challenge that lies ahead is “green shipping.”

She believes that with Hong Kong’s vast experience, the maritime industry can offer great ideas and suggestions, and collaborate with the GBA in promoting environmental protection and related research and development.

Chao is pleased that the HKSAR government has stepped up efforts in promoting the development of the maritime industry in recent years. Coupled with the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), which expressly supports Hong Kong in enhancing its status as an international transportation center, it is believed that new policies and measures are in the pipeline to help fuel the development of the maritime sector.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER

Victor Fung, chairman of the Fung Group, and his family have been trading in Hong Kong for over a century. With a profound knowledge of Hong Kong’s trade development, Fung believes that closer collaboration with other cities in the GBA will enable Hong Kong to play a vital role as the global supply chain orchestrator.

Fung thinks that Hong Kong, as a member of the GBA, should ride on its global networks, international trade experience and well-developed service industry, and collaborate with other GBA cities to promote the development of digital economy of the country.

He hopes that Hong Kong can give full play to its unique advantages, continue to enhance its service standard and intensify its role as the connector.

For example, Hong Kong’s product standard is highly recognized, and it can provide testing and accreditation services for mainland manufacturers, creating a new collaboration model which transforms Hong Kong into the key connecting platform under the country’s new development pattern of “dual circulation,” he said.

The 14th Five-Year Plan supports Hong Kong in enhancing its status as an international trade center. With its status and experience in the global financial market, Hong Kong can develop the trade finance business worldwide to become the leading trade finance hub in Asia, and integrate finance, data and technology to facilitate the digital transformation of the supply chain financing, in order to further strengthen its status as the world’s international trade center, Fung noted.

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