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Published: 11:53, September 21, 2022 | Updated: 11:53, September 21, 2022
NSL helps city claim world’s freest economy
By Xi Tianqi in Hong Kong
Published:11:53, September 21, 2022 Updated:11:53, September 21, 2022 By Xi Tianqi in Hong Kong

This photo taken on June 29, 2020 shows a billboard promoting the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the Central district in Hong Kong. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

At a Tuesday press conference in Beijing, Huang Liuquan, deputy head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong did not impair its free business environment but has instead laid a solid legal foundation to boost its competitiveness, stability and prosperity. 

The press briefing was held to showcase the successful practice of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong and Macao over the past decade. 

Since Hong Kong was recently crowned the world’s freest economy again in Canada’s Fraser Institute rankings, Huang said the global rankings fully reflected the international community’s recognition of Hong Kong’s freest economy status and its unique advantages, as well as their confidence in the city.

The main purpose of implementing the National Security Law is to restore the rule of law in Hong Kong and bring its development back on the right track, he said. 

In just two years since the implementation of the law, residents in Hong Kong and global capitals have experienced growing faith in the city while the business sector and international organizations have a positive view of its business-friendly environment, he pointed out.

Hong Kong rose back to third place in the latest Global Financial Centres Index. The total value of Hong Kong’s asset and wealth management business reached HK$35.55 trillion (US$4.53 trillion) at the end of 2021, which was 20 percent up compared with the amount at the end of 2019. Hong Kong banks held more than HK$15 trillion in deposits by the end of July, which was 8.5 percent more than before the National Security Law took effect, according to Huang.

In 2021, Hong Kong recorded a record high of 9,049 companies whose parent companies are overseas or on the Chinese mainland.

In the first half of 2022, a total of 50,087 companies were established in Hong Kong, a steady growth in the number of new companies.

“All these facts fully demonstrate that the National Security Law in Hong Kong has not undermined Hong Kong’s business environment and economic freedom. Instead, it provides a very solid legal safeguard for Hong Kong to maintain prosperity and stability and consolidate its competitive edge,” Huang said.

Also attending the meeting, Wang Linggui, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said that the central government will give full support for Hong Kong to maintain and leverage its unique advantages and conduct more extensive and closer exchanges and cooperation with other parts of the world. It will also back the city to actively and prudently advance reforms to unleash the enormous creativity and vitality of Hong Kong.

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