This photos dated June 29, 2015 shows a view of the Victoria Harbor with the International Finance Center and other high-rise buildings in Hong Kong. (PHOTO / IC)
Riding high on the Chinese mainland’s undertaking to open its doors “wider and wider” to the world, Hong Kong’s role in national development takes on a new significance, according to policymakers in Hong Kong and the mainland.
For years, Hong Kong has stood as the beneficiary of and contributor to the Chinese mainland’s groundbreaking reform and opening-up policy
Carrie Lam, HKSAR Chief Executive
The city should seek to embrace more of a “wow” factor in what could be the country’s most prominent phase of opening-up, they contended.
“For years, Hong Kong has stood as the beneficiary of and contributor to the Chinese mainland’s groundbreaking reform and opening-up policy,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor told the Caixin Summit in Hong Kong on Friday.
READ MORE: Nation opening 'wider and wider'
Fang Xinghai, vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said: “Asia’s financial center proves to be a valuable asset to the country’s journey from self-imposed backwater status to a modern market economy.”
Opening-up has been the buzzword for the world’s second-largest economy this year as it commemorates the 40th anniversary of the country’s epoch-making economic reforms.
As rhetoric opposing globalization sweeps the world, President Xi Jinping made a powerful statement at the annual Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province in April -reaffirming the country’s unwavering commitment to making great strides in liberalizing its economy. The president described the nation’s reform and opening-up as “a second revolution”.
Xi’s speech in Hong Kong last year, when the city celebrated the 20th anniversary of its return to the motherland, raised high hopes that the central government would deliver unswerving support for Hong Kong to find its unique place in the national development and consolidate its lucrative position as the major gateway to the mainland, Carrie Lam stressed.
Norman Chan Tak-lam, chief executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority, emphasized the irreplaceable and unique strengths of Hong Kong. He said it was a metropolis with the best of both worlds, including geographic proximity to the Chinese mainland, the innovative “one country, two systems” principle, and the city’s status as the country’s one and only bilingual, common-law jurisdiction. Chan said the city would be able to help mainland enterprises meet international legal standards.
“Hailed as the world’s largest offshore renminbi center, whose RMB Real Time Gross Settlement system continues to record a daily average turnover of more than 900 billion yuan ($140 billion), Hong Kong bolsters up the Chinese mainland’s vision of making its currency convertible and freely traded by 2020,” he said.
The RMB’s path to being a truly global currency moves in line with the China-spearheaded Belt and Road Initiative, a mega plan that would essentially blaze a trail in the country’s opening-up, Chan added.
RMB trade settlement accounts for only 11.5 percent of China’s total goods trade at present. The country is extending its bets on greater RMB use in closing the funding shortfall in infrastructure-hungry countries and regions along the B&R route. Therefore, Hong Kong’s impeccable strengths should be given full play, Chan argued, reiterating his hopes that more than half of the nation's total goods trade would in future be settled in RMB.
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