Mr YUEN Mo (Chairman of the 52nd terms of office) April 2021
With an improved and stable administrative system, Hong Kong will be able to focus on economic development and social construction.
The National People’s Congress has passed the decision on improving Hong Kong’s electoral system, and has also adopted the outline of the “14th Five-Year Plan” and the long-range objectives through 2035. Both have a decisive impact on the long-term economic and social development of Hong Kong. The former is crucial to maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, whereas the latter marks the Mainland’s new journey toward the full construction of a modern country.
Fulfilling the “broad representation” principle
A highlight of the decision on improving Hong Kong’s electoral system is to expand the Election Committee to 1,500 members and the LegCo to 90 members. We agree that the arrangements will more broadly cover different social strata and sectors, allowing a greater number of elites and people who love the country and love Hong Kong from different backgrounds to run for the election. These arrangements are in agreement with the principles of “broad representation” and “balanced participation”.
We also support the proposal to improve the system and mechanisms related to candidate qualification review to ensure that all candidates comply with the standard and requirements of the “patriots administering Hong Kong” principle. We hope representatives from different sectors will be allowed to become members of the candidate qualification review committee, so as to ensure its legitimacy and authority and to provide an important foundation for the city’s administration in the long run.
Seizing the opportunities offered by the “14th Five-Year Plan”
With an improved and stable administrative system, Hong Kong will be able to focus on economic development and social construction. The “14th Five-Year Plan” provides an important platform for Hong Kong to integrate into the country’s development. Hong Kong can play the role of a domestic demand promoter by encouraging Hong Kong companies to boost the sale of their products that enjoy advantages in the Mainland’s domestic market and to expand their import distribution businesses. Hong Kong businesses can also increase investment in the Mainland in alignment with the country’s infrastructure development and leverage their global connections to further line up the Mainland with the international markets.
The “14th Five-Year Plan” supports the development of Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology hub. When it comes to technology, Hong Kong enjoys a solid foundation and highly qualified talents. Through preferential policies, it will be able to attract more reputable international and Mainland tech companies to set up research centers and headquarters and tech talents to work in the city. Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Shenzhen – ideal partners in innovation and technology (I&T) development – can jointly enhance cooperation among upstream, midstream and downstream industries along the I&T industry chain to provide a leading platform for I&T development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area).
Hong Kong can also provide financing and other financial services to businesses in the Greater Bay Area. It is hoped that the HKSAR Government and the Mainland authorities can explore the possibility of simplifying relevant approval procedures to allow more companies based in the Greater Bay Area to be listed and raise funds in Hong Kong. Riding on the about-to-be-launched cross-boundary “Wealth Management Connect”, financial institutions can provide residents of the Greater Bay Area with a wider range of cross-border investment choices. In addition, the HKSAR Government should look into lobbying the opening up of the Internet and data services market in the Greater Bay Area, and setting up a matching fund and dedicated start-up fund to help Hong Kong tech companies to invest in the Greater Bay Area. At the same time, it can liaise with the Mainland on relaxing the restrictions over cross-border fund remittance and streamlining custom clearance procedures, so as to facilitate even smoother flow of people, goods, capital and information in the Greater Bay Area.
We look forward to seeing the HKSAR Government actively undertake work to improve the electoral system and amend the relevant laws as soon as possible. We also hope it will further promote and explain the specific details in this area to the public, thereby laying the grounds for prosperous and stable social, economic and business developments in Hong Kong, as well as accelerating the integration of the city into the country’s development and helping it grasp the immense opportunities brought by the “14th Five-Year Plan”.