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Mainland's economic takeoff opportunity for HK

By Zhan Qianhui | | Updated: 2017-06-28 10:56

Hong Kong should strengthen its collaboration with mainland and consolidate its role as an international financial center to maintain its long-term prosperity and stability as the economy of Chinese mainland grows, Choi Koon-shum, chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, said.

"Hong Kong enjoys a lot of unique advantages under the principal of one country, two systems. It is not only an important metropolitan in our country like Beijing and Shanghai, but an international financial center like New York and London," Choi said, encouraging Hong Kong to grasp the opportunity under the nation's economic takeoff.

Facing challenges from an increasing competitive environment, Choi said the nation has given Hong Kong a clear orientation for its future development. According to the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), the central government will support Hong Kong to maintain and improve its status as international financial, shipping and trade center as well as reinforce its role as global offshore renminbi business hub and international asset management center.

Compared with Shanghai and Singapore's robust financial market, Choi said Hong Kong's position as an international financial center is irreplaceable in China.

"Shanghai is an important financial center in the mainland under the socialist system while Hong Kong's finance market has been developing under the capitalist system and we enjoy comparable reputation with New York and London. And Singapore is a third-party country which cannot share the same standpoint with China like Hong Kong does when it comes to financial security issue," he said.

Besides maintaining its traditional advantage in finance, trade and modern service, Hong Kong also needs to diversify the economy and seek potential in emerging industries such as technological innovation, he said.

"As a world-level open market, Hong Kong is able to create a good platform for global innovative talent and scientific research institutions. The government plans to build an innovation and technology park with Shenzhen in Lok Ma Chau Loop to speed up our development of innovation and technology," he said.

Choi believed that it would be a great operation pattern to collaborate Hong Kong's fund-raising advantage with Shenzhen's innovation strengths and finally achieve industrial development.

He said there remained great business opportunity for the Hong Kong-mainland cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area construction.

"We could take advantage of our long-time interaction with the ASEAN countries to put forward the cooperation along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. And it is our organization's current priority to connect mainland companies and go out together under the B&R Initiative, "Choi said.

We shall integrate the nation's hard power with Hong Kong's soft power as a super connector to make more economic achievement in the global arena, he said.

According to Choi, the Greater Bay Area plan is a great opportunity for Guangdong to make economic transition and industrial upgrading and Hong Kong shall play a more positive role in it and make a brighter future for all the parties involved through dislocation development and coordinated development.

"The construction of the Greater Bay Area is key to Hong Kong's future and it should become a priority of our future work," he said

Choi acknowledged that Hong Kong's incredibly high property prices remain a worry for young people and it is caused by the shortage of land supply. But he called it a "happy problem".

"The high house price indicates that Hong Kong is a very attractive place and people have confidence in our future. If no one would like to come here, the price will not be that high. To address the issue, we should proceed with the land supply," he said. "Hong Kong is a diversified, open and inclusive city and we welcome friends from mainland and overseas to keep coming and inject vitality to our economy."

Founded in 1900, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce is one of the oldest and largest chambers of commerce in Hong Kong with a membership of over 6,000, including associations, companies and individual members. It has been playing an active role in attracting foreign investment in the mainland and is committed to maintain Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability by serving Hong Kong's business circle and enhancing their connection with mainland.

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