This year will be a significant one for the UK. Plenty of weighty dates punctuate the British calendar. Solemn commemorations of the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Local government and European Parliament elections.
Beyond these events, the Year of the Horse heralds an economic turning point. Over 2013, the UK shifted from economic-rescue mode into a period of recovery. Unemployment and inflation are at a four-year low, higher investment and an expanding services surplus have seen growth projections reach 2.4 per cent for 2014.
As Prime Minister David Cameron recently said, 2014 promises to be "the year in which Britain begins to rise".
What does the coming upturn mean for our largest trading and investment partners, like Hong Kong? It means making a competitive business environment even more attractive to investors as corporation tax becomes the G20's lowest by 2015. It means making it easier for companies to hire by cutting their national insurance bills. It means legislating for a Charter for Budget Responsibility as part of continuing efforts to reduce the deficit.
It also means selling the UK's prowess in professional services - well known in Hong Kong - more proactively. It means not resting on our laurels as the world's premier international finance centre, but co-operating with our global partners to innovate and diversify our financial services industry.
This spirit of innovation has been highlighted in the crucial growth sectors of the offshore renminbi market and investment management.
On Tuesday, FTSE 250-listed Ashmore became the first management group to be granted a licence by the China Securities Regulatory Commission to invest directly in Chinese stocks and bonds from outside Greater China using renminbi.
The next day, the Bank of China's London branch issued a 2.5 billion yuan bond, which will list on the London Stock Exchange.
On Thursday, a landmark exchange-traded fund was launched by Hong Kong-based CSOP Asset Management (a subsidiary of mainland-based China Southern), that will allow European investors to invest in renminbi directly in the Chinese stock markets via the London Stock Exchange for the first time. This deal demonstrates how the synergies between the UK, Hong Kong and China can combine to expand the global renminbi market.
Close co-operation with Hong Kong has been pivotal to the UK becoming the second-largest offshore global hub for renminbi. Maintaining these links will be vital.
Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf will visit Hong Kong next Monday to consolidate our close ties, and to forge new ones around maritime services and legal arbitration. She will also share the message of the UK's improving economic health with key investors.
Against the backdrop of UK growth figures being revised steadily upwards, the lord mayor will participate in a debate at the Asia Financial Forum titled "Return to Growth". This "return" means the UK and its partners should look to the coming year with a sense of optimism.
Caroline Wilson is British consul general to Hong Kong and Macau