Hong Kong firms need to gear up for challenges from free-trade zones, says HSBC's Asia-Pacific chief
Hong Kong companies need to prepare for the challenges posed by the rapid development of free-trade zones on the mainland, HSBC Asia-Pacific chief executive Peter Wong Tung-shun said on Monday.
Speaking at a Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce seminar, Wong said the Shanghai free-trade zone and other such zones on the mainland would compete with Hong Kong for talent and business.
“We need to have the right attitude to face these challenges,” he said. “We need to position ourselves to prepare for the next 10 years of China’s development. We need to stay ahead.”
Wong told about 300 business executives at the chamber’s annual business summit: “We need to think of the position of Hong Kong when the yuan is freely convertible. We also need to think, ‘What should Hong Kong do when the international board is launched in Shanghai in some years’ time and when Shanghai becomes an international financial centre in 2020?’ “
He said Hong Kong needs to work more closely with Guangdong province and to keep close watch on the opportunities arising from the internationalisation of the yuan.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan was scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the summit at lunchtime.