Treaty of Nanking

Q&A

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 May, 2012, 12:00am

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Why do you like to live and/or work in Shanghai?

Bob Partridge: Many multinational corporations use Shanghai as their China headquarters. In working with clients, it's critical to spend time with the people.

Christine Ip: I feel I can be part of the 'growth story' of China when I am in Shanghai.

Why do you like to live and/or work in Hong Kong?

Partridge: Hong Kong is filled with great [international] communities, a welcoming sense for anyone not originally from Hong Kong. It has the best airport in the world.

Ip: Financial innovation, freedom of speech ... plus a deep talent pool.

What do you dislike most about Shanghai?

Partridge: The traffic. In Shanghai, you often need an extra 30 to 45 minutes to plan on getting anywhere.

Ip: The lack of a truly international legal framework, and an uncontrolled agenda from the government and the [Communist] party.

What do you dislike most about Hong Kong?

Partridge: The summer humidity.

Ip: Aggressive media, and the Hong Kong government's poor management.

Do you believe that Shanghai can overtake Hong Kong by 2020 to be China's dominant international financial centre?

Partridge: By 2020 Shanghai will achieve its goal of being a major global financial centre. It is more likely that Shanghai will be on par with Hong Kong.

Ip: No, I don't think so. Again, because of the lack of a truly open international legal regime. In this case, Shanghai can only be the national financial centre for China.

What is Hong Kong's biggest advantage that will be difficult for Shanghai to copy?

Partridge: There are two of them - the low-tax environment, which is very attractive - and the wealth of talent in the services industries.

Ip: A legal regime and upright sense of anti-corruption.

What is Hong Kong missing to compete effectively against Shanghai?

Partridge: There isn't a specific thing that Hong Kong lacks. Hong Kong should stay focused on some of its core competencies such as services.

Ip: Size of market. Hong Kong is still like a 'stepson' [to China] while Shanghai is the legal son.

Hong Kong or Shanghai? Where will you advise your children to live and work in the future?

Partridge: As I do not have children, I have encouraged my nephew to study Mandarin and to find an opportunity in Shanghai.

Ip: Shanghai, where they can really grow together with the China story.