Press Releases in Hong Kong

Liu: HK ‘s legal, shipping sectors contribute to the country’s needs

This undated photo shows Edward Liu, a partner at law firm Hill Dickinson Hong Kong and principal representative, International Chamber of Shipping (China) Liaison Office. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Editor’s Note: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region celebrated the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Here are some of the thoughts which people in the city shared with China Daily, as they look at what the country has achieved and anticipate the tremendous opportunities ahead for the SAR.

In this piece, Edward Liu, a partner at law firm Hill Dickinson Hong Kong and principal representative, International Chamber of Shipping (China) Liaison Office, notes that if Hong Kong wants to maintain its status as a superconnector between the mainland and the rest of the world, it must be better proactively fused into the country’s development. Here's what he said.

On this day, let us reflect on our past, cherish our present, and work toward building a better future for all of us, our nation, and our city Hong Kong. We are duty-bound to do so as Chinese as well as Hong Kong citizens.

I am in the legal and shipping industries, both of which have achieved substantial achievements in the past few years with the support of the central people’s government.

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Take the legal industry as an example, the central authorities offer full support for Hong Kong to become an international arbitration services center in the Asia-Pacific region. As a leading international legal and dispute resolution services center in the region, Hong Kong is the world’s third most preferred arbitration seat in the 2021 International Arbitration Survey published by Queen Mary University of London. This shows that Hong Kong has demonstrated great resilience in the face of adversity in the past few years.

As a leading international legal and dispute resolution services center in the region, Hong Kong is the world’s third most preferred arbitration seat in the 2021 International Arbitration Survey published by Queen Mary University of London

For both the legal and shipping industries, Hong Kong’s largest market is undoubtedly the Chinese mainland. If Hong Kong wants to maintain its status as a superconnector between the mainland and the rest of the world, it must be better proactively fused into the country’s development. 

There are a lot of opportunities available to Hong Kong’s young generation, as long as our young people can be more integrated into the country’s overall development with a more innovative, forward-looking and embracing mindset. 

In the legal sector, there are a number of mutual legal assistance arrangements on reciprocal recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards, civil and commercial judgments, interim measures in arbitral proceedings, and insolvency proceedings etc. All these arrangements have made Hong Kong the most unique and ideal jurisdiction to global investors who wish to use the dispute resolution services of Hong Kong from their business dealings with the mainland. 

In the shipping sector, the International Chamber of Shipping setting up its China Liaison Office in Hong Kong in 2019, the first overseas ICS office to be established outside London, reflects Hong Kong’s efforts in promoting high value-added maritime services. In 2020, BIMCO also announced its adoption of the BIMCO Law and Arbitration Clause 2020 which includes Hong Kong as one of the four designated arbitration venues. 

This decision not only recognizes Hong Kong’s popularity as a center for dispute resolution, but also reflects the city’s position as a leader in international maritime arbitration.  

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As China is heading toward more high-quality development, the demand for capital, talent, technology and a high-end service industry will only grow. Correspondingly, a Hong Kong that is rich in international capital, extensive international connections and a well-developed professional service industry has unparalleled advantages in making use of and contributing to the needs of the country.

With the enactment of the National Security Law for Hong Kong and the implementation of electoral reforms, Hong Kong has entered a new phase of the “one country, two systems” principle.

While actively integrating into China’s overall development paradigm, Hong Kong must also maintain its unique nature to grasp the opportunities offered by national policies and place itself in a better position to support China’s opening-up. Only in this way will Hong Kong not be replaced, and “one country, two systems” will become sustainable.

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