New lawmakers must recognise need for Hong Kong to remain competitive

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2016, 5:10pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2016, 8:21pm

Despite having differences , it was fitting China and the US formally ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change when President Xi Jinping (習近平) and US President Barack Obama met at the West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou on the eve of the G20 summit.

This highlighted the pragmatic nature of the US-China relationship on resolving global issues such as climate change and the need to rally the rest of the world to actively take steps to protect the eco-system from more environmental destruction.

Before the summit, Mr Xi spoke to the Business 20, a group advising state leaders at the G20. Mr Xi said he was not afraid of difficult reforms and China would not drag its feet on opening up its markets.

He said China was “not seeking its own sphere of influence but to support common development; and China is not expanding its own backyard but creating a garden for every country to share”.

The G20 summit in Hangzhou was the most high-profile meeting of world leaders held in China in the country’s history.

It gave Mr Xi the opportunity not only to promote trade, investment and innovation, but also to enable emerging economies to have some more say in how the global economy is run.

The G20 meeting concluded with a resounding call to revitalise globalisation.

The Hangzhou Consensus agreed to target facilitating global economic growth in a more comprehensive, innovative and inclusive manner.

It was also agreed to enhance policy coordination and innovation-led growth, and improve global economic governance to reinvigorate cross-border trade and investment.

On returning from the G20 meeting, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said global protectionism was on the rise and the world needs to be united to defend free trade.

Hong Kong is the eighth largest economy in world merchandise trade and exports are crucial to our city’s economy, he said, so we must join with other countries to defend free trade.

As an international city, we in Hong Kong must unfailingly strive to remain competitive and not let the grass grow under our feet.

When the Legislative Council reconvenes in October, I hope the government will impress upon our lawmakers, those who have been re-elected and those who are new, the importance of economic development towards our city’s social progress and prosperity.

Hilton Cheong-Leen, To Kwa Wan