In this Feb 28, 2018 photo, Hong Kong's Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po talks at a press conference at Central Government Offices. Chan sees the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as essential in next stage of the SAR’s development. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
SHENZHEN – Construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is an “epoch-making” opportunity and “important engine” for the next stage of Hong Kong’s economic growth, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said.
Chan told the 2018 Qianhai Cooperation Forum in Shenzhen on Thursday that Hong Kong, under the “one country, two systems” principle, has several unique advantages in the Bay Area, especially in finance and innovation and technology.
Demand for investment and wealth-management services among residents in the Bay Area offers a huge opportunity for Hong Kong’s financial services industry, especially for asset management and wealth management businesses
Paul Chan Mo-po, Financial Secretary, Hong Kong
The special administrative region’s developed financial market, sound legal environment, free flow of information and open capital market make it an international financial hub. It is therefore the primary financing platform for mainland enterprises that seek to go global, he said.
The city is also a “test field” for the country to deepen financial reform and push forward with renminbi internationalization, he added.
“Demand for investment and wealth-management services among residents in the Bay Area offers a huge opportunity for Hong Kong’s financial services industry, especially for asset management and wealth management businesses,” said Chan.
He was speaking to more than 1,000 attendees at the event which was co-organized by Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies and the Authority of Qianhai.
“There are many leading innovation and technology enterprises and advanced manufacturing bases in the Bay Area,” Chan said, adding Hong Kong can provide comprehensive financial, accounting and capital management services to help them grow.
In terms of technological development, Chan said the city’s advantages in research and development, infrastructure and protection of intellectual property rights would attract more internationally renowned research institutions and universities.
The SAR government allocated HK$50 billion to support the growth of innovation and technology in the 2018-19 Budget, showing its determination to boost the sector.
A Hong Kong X Foundation report said the city lacks innovation and technology talent despite rising demand.
The report cited Hong Kong government statistics, which said demand for information-technology talent is increasing at an average 2 percent in the 2012 to 2022 period, much higher than the overall rate.
However, the number of graduates who chose to develop careers in the field declined an average 7 percent annually from 2014 to 2016, a separate report by Hong Kong’s Vocational Training Center shows.
Addressing the same forum, Leong Vai-tac, secretary for economy and finance in the Macao SAR, said Macao will grasp the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative and Bay Area to promote reform and innovation and actively integrate itself into the country’s development to achieve higher-quality growth.
The city will strive to foster new sources of economic growth and develop new industries appropriate for it, for example finance, international exhibitions, maritime industry, and internet-based businesses in addition to traditional industries, he said.
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