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Hong Kong a pioneer, trend-setter for nation, Tang says

By Joseph Li in Hong Kong | HK Edition | Updated: 2017-06-13 07:05

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been playing a strategic role as a pioneer and trend-setter for the country over the past 20 years since the handover, said Henry Tang Ying-yen, who held several top government positions during that period.

Hong Kong had organized a number of important international meetings since 1997, he remembered. This fully reflected Hong Kong's key role under "One Country, Two Systems", making the best of the city's position as a trend-setter and allowing the mainland to share Hong Kong's experience.

"That included the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meeting which was held in Hong Kong in September 1997, World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference 2005 and International Telecommunications Union conference in 2006, with the hosting rights of the latter two events being negotiated by me while I was financial secretary," he recalled.

Tang said hosting major international conferences offered the nation invaluable opportunities.

"Every time the international conferences were held here, they sent a big delegation to Hong Kong to watch and share our experience," added Tang.

He noted that this was before the Chinese mainland hosted the 2008 Olympic Games and 2010 World Expo.

"Hong Kong also played the pioneer role in other cross-boundary projects, including Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between Hong Kong and the mainland, Individual Visit Scheme and offshore yuan services, enjoying the unique advantages of 'Two Systems' under the 'One Country' arrangement."

According to World Trade Organization, Hong Kong ranked the seventh among leading world traders in 2016, accounting for 3.3 percent of total value of global trade, trailing after the top three players - the US, the Chinese mainland and Germany.

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