Dr Jonathan CHOI Koon-shum (Chairman of the 50th terms of office) August 2018
It is hoped that the HKSAR Government will provide appropriate support to affected Hong Kong businesses in light of the recent Sino-US trade disputes and drive Hong Kong’s industries toward high value-added and diversified development.
CGCC made a written submission to the HKSAR Government earlier in response to the Chief Executive’s public consultation on her coming Policy Address. It is hoped that it will provide appropriate support to affected Hong Kong businesses in light of the recent Sino-US trade disputes and drive Hong Kong’s industries toward high value-added and diversified development. The HKSAR Government should actively assist the business sector to capture development opportunities presented by the “Belt and Road Initiative” and the “Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area”, and open up more possibilities for regional cooperation.
Stronger support for development of local businesses
Hong Kong businesses are beginning to feel the threat as Sino-US trade disputes continue to escalate. Hong Kong may gradually come under menace of such trade tension. CGCC proposes the launch of “SME Special Contingency Fund” to provide low-interest or interest-free loan guarantees for SMEs in addition to improving the existing “SME Financing Guarantee Scheme”.
To improve the overall competitiveness of Hong Kong’s industries, CGCC hopes that the HKSAR Government will make vigorous effort to drive the development of emerging industries while continuing to consolidate our traditionally advantageous sectors. Notably, President Xi Jinping clearly expressed support earlier for Hong Kong’s development into an international innovation and technology (I&T) hub, which will also provide opportunities for Hong Kong’s economic upgrading and transformation. CGCC hopes that the HKSAR Government will encourage private organizations to allocate more resources to scientific research, and in the long run further improve local R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP to close the gap between Hong Kong and other I&T-developed regions.
Plans and developments for integrating into the Bay Area
China has been promoting the development of the Bay Area in recent years, creating unprecedented opportunities for Hong Kong’s economy as well as industrial and commercial enterprises. To enable Hong Kong’s priority industries, such as the financial and professional service sectors, to play a functional role in helping businesses to maximize Bay Area opportunities, we recommended the HKSAR Government to closely coordinate with relevant departments of the Bay Area. The Hong Kong and Shenzhen governments can consider setting up an “Innovation and Technology Authority” to augment cooperation in I&T. They can also explore implementing Hong Kong’s intellectual property protection system in Shenzhen and even the entire Bay Area.
To effectively realize coordinated development in the Bay Area, CGCC believes that the HKSAR Government should take a proactive approach and seek to collaborate with the Guangdong and Macao governments to set up a high-level “Leadership Coordination Committee” led by the State Council. Experts, scholars and industry representatives should be invited to contribute to the overall planning of the Bay Area. Relevant policy initiatives will be implemented by ad-hoc offices under the committee. CGCC also hopes to see more measures from the government to facilitate Hong Kong people to work and live in the Bay Area. It would be an effective driver for a common regional living circle.
Bigger space for diversified market development
Backed by unique advantages of the “One Country, Two Systems” policy and her financial and professional services that are highly aligned with international standards, Hong Kong is well-positioned to provide support services for “Belt and Road” projects. The HKSAR Government can strengthen ties with regional financial institutions, such as the Silk Road Fund and the AIIB, and seek to expand financial market interconnection with the Mainland to further bolster Hong Kong’s position as a regional financial hub and the world’s largest offshore RMB centre.
In addition, Hong Kong can act as a pivot point that links the Mainland with ASEAN. It should continue to deepen cooperation with ASEAN through the Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement signed last year, and get more ASEAN members to support Hong Kong’s accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to expand its market network for trade in goods and services.
In conclusion, CGCC hopes that the coming Policy Address will provide more policy measures for the diversified and sustainable development of local industries and help Hong Kong businesses capture opportunities of our country’s development so as to explore more domestic and overseas markets against the challenging backdrop of external uncertainties.