Published: 16:27, July 4, 2022 | Updated: 21:41, July 6, 2022
Business heavyweights applaud Xi's support of SAR
By China Daily

This June 25, 2022 photo shows a light show on display on Hong Kong Island, as the city prepared to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its return to the motherland. (WANG SHEN / XINHUA)

Hong Kong business leaders said they were inspired by President Xi Jinping’s address during the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and conveyed their confidence in the new patriots-administered SAR government.

In his speech, which was also on the occasion of the swearing-in of the HKSAR’s sixth-term government, the State leader said the central authorities fully support the SAR in “seizing the historic opportunities presented by the country’s development”.

Xi’s faith in Hong Kong’s competence and the central government’s explicit voice of generous support reassures Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, permanent honorary president of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, that Hong Kong will gain a leg up in the international business arena and live up to the country’s expectations.

READ MORE: Xi's speech hailed for drawing blueprint for HK's future

“These strategic initiatives lend a profoundly rewarding leverage for Hong Kong to harness, to continue attracting not only overseas businesses but also young talents outside Hong Kong,” Choi said.

We all face the same challenge: how to inspire the next generation and make them feel that there is a great future ahead.

Joe Ngai, managing partner of McKinsey Greater China

Joe Ngai, managing partner of McKinsey Greater China, said that while the past few years have not been all sunshine and rainbows, with the current problem being the COVID-19 travel restrictions, “the market potential of the Greater Bay Area, which grants close connectivity with the Chinese mainland”, presents Hong Kong with immense potential, advantages to capitalize on, and a sanguine future.

“Hong Kong was one of the best places in Asia for attracting talent before the pandemic — our airport and connectivity, our cosmopolitan community, our country parks and coastlines, our low tax rates”, Ngai said.

The disruptive pandemic has deterred nonlocal professionals from coming to appreciate the city as they could have, he continued. “We need to fight hard to regain this position again,” and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is showering the city with the potential to reinvigorate, he said.

“One country, two systems” was a relevant thread running through Xi’s address.

Hailing “one country, two systems” as an unprecedented and monumental construct, the Chinese leader said that the principle has stood the test of time over the past 25 years since the establishment of the HKSAR, which is borne out by Hong Kong’s constant growth and its ability to attract people and capital. There’s no reason to alter or forgo such an instrumental principle, Xi said, stressing the need to fully, faithfully and unwaveringly implement the policy.

He made special note that Hong Kong “must be administered only by patriots”. Only if hardcore patriots who showcase outstanding administrative capability are in the driving seat in the government can Hong Kong maintain a long-term stability and sustained prosperity, Xi said.

Choi echoed with sentiment with conviction, saying that patriots with loyalty, integrity and administrative competence will lead Hong Kong through all the traumas and distraught situations that have stunted Hong Kong’s growth.

Noting the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots in many places, which is prominent in global financial centers, Ngai argued, “Hong Kong’s Gini coefficient of 0.54 is not a statistic to be proud of in the past decade. It is not sustainable enough.

“We all face the same challenge: how to inspire the next generation and make them feel that there is a great future ahead.”

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The Gini coefficient is a measure of the distribution of income and wealth across a population, rated from zero to 1. The higher the Gini coefficient, the greater the inequality.

That the new-term government is riddled with challenges is not necessarily a bad thing. Rather, it means opportunities to break the mold and ground, Ngai said.

“We have enjoyed a fantastic 25 years of growth,” Ngai said. “The next chapter is about the quality and nature of our growth — we need to be more inclusive and more sustainable.”