Allan Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group, gives an interview to China Daily Hong Kong on Tuesday. (FLORENCE LI / CHINA DAILY)

Under the leadership of the new-term State leaders, Hong Kong will be able to better play to its unique strengths and share greater dividends from the country’s all-round development.

Allan Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group, made the remarks in an interview with China Daily on Tuesday — the day after the closing meeting of the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress, the nation’s top legislature.

During the NPC session, Xi Jinping was unanimously re-elected president of the People’s Republic of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Li Qiang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was endorsed as Chinese premier after being nominated by Xi.

Zeman said that both Xi and Li have been committed to backing the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions’ integration into the overall development of the country. The leaders also pledged to adhere to the “one country, two systems” policy, and maintain Hong Kong’s status as an international financial, shipping and trading center. With these commitments, Zeman believes the HKSAR will continue to serve as a window between the Chinese mainland and the world.

At Monday’s closing meeting, Xi said that “the long-term prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong and Macao SARs is indispensable to the building of a great China”.

Zeman said he believes Xi’s words sent an important message to Hong Kong and Macao residents that the SARs, as inseparable parts of the country, will grow along with the motherland as China becomes stronger in the future.

Zeman also said that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, in particular, has great development potential. Even though the growth of this area has slowed for a while because of the pandemic, its vitality has picked up with the full recovery of normal cross-border travel.

The business leader also mentioned Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu’s ongoing Beijing trip, which aims to strengthen SAR ties with various central ministries. Zeman said he hopes the visit can achieve fruitful outcomes and further accelerate Hong Kong’s integration into national development.

Zeman also said he is impressed with the new central leadership with Xi at its core, adding that both Xi and Li have vowed to continue to open China to foreign investment and focus on helping small and medium-sized enterprises, which will boost the confidence of foreign companies in China.

As the new premier of China, Li Qiang has a vision for the country and its people, Zeman said. He added that Li gained a lot of experience while serving as the Party secretary of Shanghai and hopes the new government leader can chart a promising road map for China’s post-pandemic economic development.

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