Press Releases in Hong Kong

Officials: Shanghai, HK can drive nation’s economic reforms

Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC, delivers a speech at the 2021 Shanghai-Hong Kong Cooperation and Development Online Seminar: “14th Five-Year Plan” Shanghai Development and Shanghai-Hong Kong Cooperation, June 9, 2021. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Shanghai and Hong Kong are in a strong position to help write the next chapter in the country’s new round of economic reforms and national development, officials and experts on Wednesday told the 2021 Shanghai-Hong Kong Cooperation and Development Online Seminar: “14th Five-Year Plan” Shanghai Development and Shanghai-Hong Kong Cooperation. 

The seminar was co-organized by the Committee for Liaison with Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Overseas Chinese of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Shanghai Committee, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the Hong Kong Coalition, and the Better Hong Kong Foundation. The event aims to discuss the great opportunities for collaboration between Shanghai and Hong Kong under the 14th Five-Year Plan. 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the start of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) which sets out the nation’s vision for social and economic development. 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the start of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) which sets out the nation’s vision for social and economic development

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“Shanghai and Hong Kong, a pair of highly complementary cities as the backbone of upholding ‘one country, two systems’, should lose no time in building up mutual understanding, consolidating traditional areas of cooperation, expanding new fields of collaboration, creating new exchange platforms, enhancing the level of bilateral cooperation and exploring potential opportunities for future partnership,” said Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC and chief convener of the Hong Kong Coalition.

Back in 2018 — the year that marked the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, President Xi Jinping voiced high hopes for Hong Kong, saying that he hoped Hong Kong and Macao could contribute to the country’s comprehensive opening-up in a more proactive manner, take the lead in attracting capital, technology and talent, and take part in national high-quality economic development and the new round of high-level opening-up.

As the world’s second-largest economy emerges smartly from the chaos still seen in much of the world, we are on the cusp of great changes in the post-pandemic era, said Dong Yunhu, chairman of the CPPCC Shanghai Committee, noting that this calls for Hong Kong to double down on efforts to make itself more relevant than ever to the nation’s grand development.

“Hailed as the spearhead and poster child of the groundbreaking reform and opening-up, Shanghai shares a vast space for collaboration with Hong Kong to write the compelling tale of two cities,” Dong said.

Riding high on the undertakings and goals of the 14th Five-Year Plan, Dong believes Shanghai and Hong Kong have what it takes to find a place in the new development landscape on a national level and work together in areas like the establishment of a modern economic system, deepening ties between cross-border capital markets, optimization of the allocation of shipping and aviation resources, the buildup of economic and trade exchange platform, expansion of the Belt and Road markets, as well as the facilitation of the bilateral cultural, educational and youth communications. 

Wang Dezhong, head of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the seminar, “Our world is experiencing profound changes unseen in a century. As a pioneer of the national reform and opening-up, a first mover of the country’s innovation development, Shanghai will build a new development pattern, and strive to become the central node of the ‘domestic circulation’ as well as the strategic connection of the ‘international circulation’ of the country’s ‘dual circulation economy’.”

Wang pointed out that Hong Kong is an important international financial, shipping and trade center, while against the backdrop of the country’s entering of a new stage of development, Hong Kong is poised to play a very important role in the “dual circulation economy”, the opening-up of financial industry as well as the innovation-driven development of the country.

The economies of Hong Kong and Shanghai are complementary to each other, Wang said, adding that during the 14th Five-Year Plan, the Yangtze River Delta region and Guangdong- Hong Kong- Macao Greater Bay Area, with Shanghai and Hong Kong as their respective cores, are important bearers of the country’s new economy, new industries and new functions.

Shanghai and Hong Kong should adopt a broader vision and better strategy to achieve a new level of economic cooperation in the future, Wang stressed.

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Ronnie Chan Chi-chung, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Better Hong Kong Foundation, told the seminar that Hong Kong has been through some difficult time during the past two years, but thanks to the implementation of the National Security Law, the city will finally be able to embrace its best opportunities.

Chan said he would like to make a few suggestions to the city he was born and raised in: firstly, Hong Kong should no longer be self-centered and see everything only from its own perspective, as opportunities are emerging from the mainland, so he suggested that Hong Kong see things from the nation’s perspective.

Secondly, Hong Kong, as a service provider (services industries constitute an estimated 95 per cent of its economy), needs to understand who the customer is and what the customer needs. 

“Hong Kong people must constantly ask themselves, what does the nation need and how should Hong Kong facilitate (that)?” Chan said.

He warned that the world is developing rapidly, and China will not wait for Hong Kong’s development, so Hong Kong must catch up again.