Dr Jonathan CHOI Koon-shum (Chairman of the 50th terms of office) February 2018
We look forward to various sectors of the society taking hold of the opportunities to deepen Hong Kong’s role as a hub for regional cooperation. CGCC will further perform its function as a bridge to explore more development opportunities at home and abroad for member companies and the business community.
Iwish members of CGCC and friends from various sectors good health and good luck in the Year of the Dog ! May Hong Kong’s economy continue to thrive and our society prosper and remain stable ! And may our Motherland become more wealthy and prosperous, with people living in harmony !
Led by the Mainland’s rapid economic growth, Hong Kong’s economy and business environment will also enjoy a better development in the new year. We look forward to various sectors of the society taking hold of the opportunities to deepen Hong Kong’s role as a hub for regional cooperation. CGCC will further perform its function as a bridge to explore more development opportunities at home and abroad for member companies and the business community.
Capturing new opportunities from “Belt and Road” and FTA
Late last year, the NDRC and the HKSAR Government signed an arrangement for advancing Hong Kong’s full participation in and contribution to the “Belt and Road Initiative”. Hong Kong also formally entered into a free trade agreement with ASEAN. These arrangements will help the Mainland, Hong Kong and ASEAN enterprises establish closer cooperative partnerships, which are definitely unprecedented opportunities for Hong Kong’s industries and businesses.
CGCC is always committed to encouraging its members and the business community to participate in “Belt and Road” and regional cooperation. We also host the Hong Kong Summit, inviting the economic and trade ministers, government officials, business community leaders and business elites from the Mainland and ASEAN countries to discuss the latest situations and investment opportunities regarding “Belt and Road” and ASEAN. In addition, for the first time, we held the “CGCC Belt & Road FEST” to let the public learn about the cultures and customs along “Belt and Road”.
This year, we will continue to build a platform for interaction among member companies, including preparation for holding a seminar in Indonesia on cooperation between Hong Kong and ASEAN. We also plan to hold the WCEC’s Belt and Road Forum in Hong Kong and move the “Belt and Road Industrial and Commercial Conference” to Paris, France, to further expand our regional economic and trade network.
Fostering coordinated development of Bay Area
China attaches great importance to the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. The three places are closely cooperating with the NDRC in formulating the development plan for the Bay Area and specific measures will be introduced soon. CGCC has made a lot of suggestions for Hong Kong’s participation in the construction of the Bay Area. In particular, the Bay Area can combine Guangdong’s innovation and technology with Hong Kong’s financial services, professional services and operations management to become an important engine for the long-term development of enterprises in the area.
Last month, we went to Guangzhou with several of Hong Kong’s trade associations to visit Guangdong’s provincial party secretary and governor. While there, I proposed that Hong Kong can capitalize on the “One Country, Two Systems” principle to promote close cooperation and complementation of advantages between the Bay Area and “Belt and Road” to achieve seamless flow of people, logistics, capital and information as soon as possible. Cities in the Bay Area must also be vigilant in management coordination and benefits distribution to avoid duplicated construction and, in the long run, bring in global elites and nurture young talents to provide all-round support for the industrial development in the area.
In the new year, we will continue to make the best use of CGCC’s network of contacts to further strengthen cooperation with the business groups in Guangdong and Macau to pool the strengths of the business communities of the three places. We also plan to jointly organize the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Forum with relevant organizations in Guangdong.
The Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will soon commence operation, and the NPC Standing Committee has approved the co-location deal with Guangdong for implementing a joint checkpoint at Hong Kong’s XRL terminus. We call on the Legislative Council and all stakeholders in society to keep Hong Kong’s overall development in mind and create favorable conditions for local legislative approval of the co-location deal in order to facilitate travels in the Bay Area.
To sum up, CGCC will continue to assist member companies in the new year to tie in with the country’s economic situation and the pace of regional cooperation, actively exploring new business and investment opportunities. We also hope the forthcoming Budget will fully align with the Policy Address in proposing policy measures to promote regional cooperation and the government to implement the relevant budgets as soon as possible, leading Hong Kong to participate more effectively in the construction of “Belt and Road” and the Bay Area to create a new milestone for the sustained development of our economy and the industrial and business community.