HONG KONG’S TRANSFORMATION International leaders panel discussion: Hong Kong is the gateway for business opportunities and outbound investments Hong Kong people, businesses and government should count themselves members of the Greater Bay Area integration scheme for cities in the Pearl River Delta, and embrace what their mainland neighbours have to offer, panellists say. To ensure the city remains a key gateway linking China and the rest of the world, Hong Kong businesses should combine their strengths in finance, rule of law and global connections with the mainland’s technology, manufacturing and logistics capabilities. They also suggest the Hong Kong government should do more to support start-ups and foster innovation. HONG KONG’S TRANSFORMATION Business leaders panel: Sharing insights on the evolving business environment and its growth since the handover Panellists say the government can enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness by reviewing its taxation policy for asset management firms and offering tax breaks to top technology companies. The administration should also come up with “think of out the box-type” land policies such as imposing taxes on developers sitting on undeveloped land. To improve the city’s education quality, teachers should be offered more economic benefits and higher social status, they suggest. HONG KONG’S PROGRESS Panel: Moving towards an innovation hub status in the pursuit of knowledge-intensive economic growth Panellists say Hong Kong has the potential to become a tech innovation hub with its superb internet infrastructure and large number of investors. But the city needs to invest further in science education and research to generate more creative ideas. The community should also be encouraged to embrace change and adopt new technologies, they say. HONG KONG’S PROGRESS Panel: Reflecting on the progress in Hong Kong’s community livelihood Panellists say Hong Kong is facing two major challenges – an ageing population and a shrinking labour force. The Hong Kong government needs to tackle poverty among the elderly in order to narrow the wealth gap, and one effective way would be to develop instruments to translate their assets into stable streams of income. Panellists also called on the administration to look for smart solutions. Blindly putting in money and resources does not always solve social problems, they note. HONG KONG’S FUTURE Panel: Sharing aspirations towards Hong Kong’s future through continuity and opportunity Panellists urge Hong Kong to continue to preserve its advantages, such as freedoms and rule of law, in order to attract business. The city should also grasp the opportunities offered by China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” to open up trade along a new Silk Route while working harder on innovation and technology. Hongkongers should also try to get out of their comfort zones and be more courageous in adopting new ways of living, they suggest. And the government should develop Hong Kong as a cultural hub for the region.