Chairman's Message

Dr Jonathan CHOI Koon-shum (Chairman of the 51st terms of office) September 2020


In the face of the looming challenges, Hong Kong society must stay united and actively prepare for post-pandemic recovery work to ensure the sustainable development of the Hong Kong economy. 


Following the implementation of the Hong Kong's National Security Law, the US government has announced the elimination of Hong Kong's special status and preferential treatment over Mainland China, and imposed sanctions on a number of Mainland and Hong Kong officials. While these measures have limited impact on the Hong Kong economy in the short term, they will inevitably harm bilateral trade and business dealings between Hong Kong and the US in the long run. In the face of the uncertainties caused by this, as well as by the unpredictable trend of the COVID-19 pandemic, various sectors need to stay on guard and be ready to explore new development opportunities under the changing circumstances. 


Inevitable disruption of Hong Kong-US trade

Under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, Hong Kong is a separate customs territory from Mainland China. The US's unilateral decision to revoke Hong Kong's special status is not only hurting Hong Kong-US relation, but also its own interests: Hong Kong has been the single economy with which the US has the highest trade surplus, and many American enterprises are currently investing and operating in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's exports to the US, on the other hand, are limited. A different labeling requirement for Hong Kong products imported to the US will have little effect on Hong Kong's overall export trade.  Nevertheless, we do hope the HKSAR government will communicate with the industries that might be affected, and provide them with suitable support. 


The HKSAR government is now waiting for a response from the US government on possible solutions to the labeling issue. It is also reviewing World Trade Organization rules to ensure the legal business rights of Hong Kong companies are protected. We support the HKSAR government's action, and hope to see it develop a platform to promote the strengths of Hong Kong-made products in order to boost consumer confidence in them. 


Consolidating Hong Kong's financial center position

Many have expressed concerns that US sanctions may undermine Hong Kong's status as an international financial center. Personally, I believe that the key to Hong Kong's success as a global financial hub is its sound legal system and a simple, attractive tax regime.  These advantages have drawn financial institutions and talents from around the world to the city over the years. In fact, Hong Kong's financial market has been stable and capital has continued to flow into the city. Furthermore, a rising number of Chinese enterprises listed on US stock exchanges are also listing in Hong Kong. This is expected to promote the further development of the Hong Kong financial market.


Hong Kong enjoys the backing of the massive Mainland market. The “One Country, Two Systems” principle has consolidated Hong Kong's role in introducing foreign capital into the Mainland and facilitating Mainland enterprises' reach to the global  market. Despite the current challenges, the steady growth of the Mainland economy in the long run means a continuous great demand for IPO and other professional financial services. As long as Hong Kong equips itself for this, it will keep making contributions to the development of the country's financial sector.  


Actively seizing opportunities 

In the face of the looming challenges, Hong Kong society must stay united and actively prepare for post-pandemic recovery  work to ensure the sustainable development of the Hong Kong economy. 


With support from the country, Hong Kong has successfully rolled out the first-ever “Universal Community Testing Programme” to facilitate the identification of  asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in the community and isolate sources of infection. In addition, the HKSAR government is about to launch the third round of the Anti-Epidemic Fund to relieve some of the pressure faced by businesses and local residents. Meanwhile, we are looking forward to seeing the new Policy Address, which will be announced next month, to include more concrete, longer-term support measures for businesses to cope with the changing business environment. We also expect policies to strengthen Hong Kong's inherent advantages and to further promote Hong Kong's engagement in the developments of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the “Belt and Road Initiative”, which, when aligned with President Xi Jinping's vision to promote domestic and international circular economies, will allow Hong Kong's economy to thrive again.