Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po (second from right) visits a French enterprise in Paris, France, on Sept 18, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Hong Kong can play a more active role as a connector between the Chinese mainland and the international community in various aspects, such as finance, technology and innovation, commerce, culture, and people-to-people exchanges, amid a complex and ever-changing international environment, says Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po.
Writing in his Sunday blog, which falls on National Day, he said his recent nine-day visit to Europe has given him a deeper understanding of how the special administrative region can play a more active role as a connector.
“The trip allowed me to personally introduce Hong Kong’s latest situation, and the development opportunities in Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, especially in innovative technology and creative cultural industries, and try our best to expand our international circle of friends,” he said.
During his European tour, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po visited cultural industry institutions, including the Royal College of Arts in the United Kingdom and Maison et Objet in France, with the aim of strengthening cultural connections and exchanges between Hong Kong and Europe
“In fact, face-to-face communication, direct responses to questions, and patient explanations with facts and data can enhance each other’s understanding of the actual situation, and can also help build mutual trust.”
Amid the current weak global economic climate, Western financial and business circles are particularly interested in seeking opportunities on the Chinese mainland, especially in the Greater Bay Area and Asia, said Chan. "Hong Kong’s unique function and role as a super connector under ‘one country, two systems ’can play a greater role in the current increasingly polarized international landscape.”
The SAR is connected to the mainland through its familiarity with the nation’s economy and market conditions. At the same time, under “two systems”, Hong Kong has smooth contact with the international market and the free flow of various elements, coupled with the city’s exposure to Western culture and thinking.
“This two-way communication needs to be ongoing, multi-dimensional and multi-level,” Chan said.
During his European tour, the finance chief visited cultural industry institutions, including the Royal College of Arts in the United Kingdom and Maison et Objet in France, with the aim of strengthening cultural connections and exchanges between Hong Kong and Europe. “Hong Kong needs to be more active playing its role as a ‘Chinese and foreign cultural and artistic exchange center’ under the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) to help the country demonstrate the soft power of Chinese culture,” Chan said.
He said he had made full use of his visit to invite many foreign friends to visit Hong Kong to learn the city’s latest situation at first hand, so that they can know the development opportunities in Hong Kong and the country.
In the next six months, Hong Kong will host a series of large-scale international conferences and events, including Fintech Week, Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, the first summit event to be held in Asia under Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative Institute, Asian Financial Forum, Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival and Art Basel.
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