China Conference

Chief executive highlights Hong Kong’s advantages under ‘One Belt, One Road’

CY Leung says city’s government will help companies reach out to Asian and European countries

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 11:59am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 12:42pm

China’s “One Belt, One Road” trade and development strategy offers “unprecedented promises” for the city, and Hong Kong is in a good position to benefit from it, the city’s top official said on Friday morning.

Speaking at the South China Morning Post’s annual China Conference, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying also said that with the city being a financial and professional services centre, the Hong Kong government would help companies reach out to Asian and European countries.

He added that under the “one country, two systems” principle, Hong Kong was a “super connector” between China and the world.

Hong Kong must seek sister cities to truly benefit from ‘One Belt, One Road’

“As part of the country, we have the China advantage ... Under ‘two systems’, we practise social, economic and legal systems that are separate and different from [those on] the mainland,” Leung said.

“We are actively strengthening our economic relationships with our trading partners ... Our legislature passed a law not long ago to provide tax [concessions] for qualified corporate treasury centres,” he added.

The chief executive also said a major component of the belt and road initiative would be infrastructural project investments, which involve professional services.

Hong Kong trade presence needed in ‘One Belt, One Road’ cities

“Hong Kong happens to excel in these areas; our professionals are highly regarded for their ethics, confidence and global outlook. They [have] experience in delivering service worldwide – the business footprint of Hong Kong professionals extends well beyond our 1,100 square kilometres,” he added, referring to railway management projects in Sydney, Stockholm and London.

But Leung noted that the strategy was also about exchange between peoples as well as education. The city’s government has therefore set up a scholarship to promote cultural exchange among students in the region.

Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa also gave a speech at the conference.

He said Hong Kong businesses should go for the opportunities offered by the belt and road plan.

“We’re just very lucky ... to be Chinese and to be in Hong Kong at this age and time,” he said.