Hong Kong's Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po (second right) delivers a speech at the Davos-Caixin CEO Luncheon on "Unleashing the Full Potential of Asia: Scenarios and Opportunities" during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, Switzerland, Jan 17, 2023. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)
HONG KONG – With the advantages of "one country, two systems" and the firm support of the country, Hong Kong is the only place where the China advantages and the international advantages converge, the city's finance chief said on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting.
The special administrative region is quickly returning to normalcy from the pandemic, and as the Chinese mainland has speeded up its opening, the economy this year will pick up growth, Paul Chan Mo-po pointed out in his speech at the Davos-Caixin CEO Luncheon.
In his speech on "Unleashing the Full Potential of Asia: Scenarios and Opportunities", Chan said Hong Kong plays the role of connecting the mainland and the world in many different areas such as financial services and innovation and technology, thereby actively contributing to the prosperity and sustained development of Asia.
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Despite the rather gloomy recent global economic outlook, Asia's growing prominence in the medium to longer term is clear, he said, adding that the global economic gravity continues to shift eastwards.
Hong Kong's promising prospects are also vested in our commitment to driving innovation and technology as an engine of sustainable economic growth and quality employment opportunities.
Paul Chan, Financial Secretary, HKSAR
"Despite de-globalization attempts by some countries, China has reaffirmed its commitment to opening to the world, and has set sights on pursuing high-quality development led by innovation and technology and green transition.”
Hong Kong's status as an international financial center will certainly help underpin this progress in many different ways, he added.
Stressing that the SAR will play a more pivotal role in the two-way opening up of the mainland's capital markets to the rest of the world, the financial secretary said over the years, Connect Schemes with the mainland have been developing and deepening, first from stocks to bonds and then to ETFs.
"These efforts will also help the internationalization of RMB. As the popularity of RMB as a trading and reserve currency is growing, Hong Kong will continue to upgrade our RMB market infrastructure and offer more RMB-denominated investment and risk management tools.”
Hong Kong will further enhance its status as a global fund raising center, said Chan, adding that the city’s stock and bond markets are highly liquid and vibrant.
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"Hong Kong is the ideal place for mainland and Asian companies to list – because they will be able to tap both international and mainland capital,” said Chan.
Referring to the city’s success in developing green and sustainable finance, he said: “In 2021, the amount of such bonds and debts issued in Hong Kong reached $57 billion, which grew four times from that in the previous year, and topped Asia. This testifies to the confidence and trust by international investors in Hong Kong's standards and practices.”
Saying that Hong Kong has a mature fintech infrastructure and a vibrant ecosystem, Chan added, “We have made clear through a policy statement on embracing virtual assets, through putting in place appropriate and proportionate supervision.”
Financial Secretary Paul Chan (fourth left) poses for a photo with senior management of financial institutions in Europe and Japan at a breakfast meeting during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, Switzerland, Jan 17, 2023. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)
The market highly welcomed the move, and many virtual asset innovators from Asia and the world are planning for establishing business in Hong Kong, said the finance chief.
"Hong Kong's promising prospects are also vested in our commitment to driving innovation and technology as an engine of sustainable economic growth and quality employment opportunities.”
With a population of around 87 million, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is a burgeoning and thriving region that has a high concentration of tech companies and talents, and excels in advanced manufacturing, he said.
The strengths of Hong Kong and sister cities in the GBA are mutually complementary,” Chan said, adding that the 11-city cluster will emerge as a leading innovation and technology power house in the world.
Chan, who left the city on Saturday to attend the WEF meeting, participated in the Special Address delivered by Vice Premier of the State Council Liu He on Tuesday morning, according to a government news release.
During a breakfast meeting with the senior management of financial institutions in Europe and Japan, he elaborated Hong Kong's latest development, systemic strengths and bright prospects.
Paul Chan (right) meets with Lenovo Chairman Yang Yuanqing at Davos, Switzerland, Jan 17, 2023. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)
Financial Secretary Paul Chan (left) meets with Chairman of Bloomberg, Peter Grauer, at Davos, Switzerland, Jan 17, 2023. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)
Paul Chan (right) meets with Chief Executive Officer of Envision Group, Zhang Lei, at Davos, Switzerland, Jan 17, 2023. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)
He also met with the Chairman of Lenovo, Yang Yuanqing; Chairman of Bloomberg, Peter Grauer; and Chief Executive Officer of Envision Group, Zhang Lei.
In the evening, the finance chief attended a dinner reception hosted by the Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF, Professor Klaus Schwab.