Chairman's Message
Chairman's Message - Resumption of Normal Travel Injects New Impetus into Hong Kong’s Economy

Dr Jonathan CHOI Koon-shum (Chairman of the 53rd terms of office) January 2023


The full resumption of normal travel will help significantly boost the recovery of Hong Kong’s economy and fuel various industries with new growth impetus. CGCC will continue to expand its Mainland and global networks to support the steady economic growth in both the Mainland and Hong Kong.


The beginning of 2023 greeted us with some exciting news: normal travel with the Mainland will be resumed imminently. It is crucial for our post-pandemic economic recovery and the progress in integrating with the Country.


Dovetailing with resumed economic development in the Mainland

The first Central Economic Work Conference held after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China set out the priorities and strategies for the country’s economic work in 2023, with the recovery and expansion of consumption being one of the focuses. As an integral part of China, Hong Kong should capitalize on the opportunities from the resumption of normal travel and support the Mainland’s plan to expand domestic demand.


To this end, Hong Kong businesses should quicken their pace in setting up sales channels in the Mainland market to promote Hong Kong’s competitive products, and expand their import and distribution businesses. Hong Kong should also help promote the alignment of international and Mainland standards and quality control regulations to further improve consumer protection. The HKSAR government can study the possibility of increasing the scale and scope of its funding schemes for SMEs, with a view to providing Hong Kong SMEs with more precise and effective support to tap into the Mainland’s domestic market.


The Conference also proposed to accelerate the building of a modern industrial system, and the research and application of cutting-edge technologies. Hong Kong’s higher institutions and research organizations should actively seek to play a role in this area. Meanwhile, we hope the HKSAR government and the Guangdong provincial government will strengthen their cooperation and communication in promoting the synesis of Hong Kong’s scientific and technological research results and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area’s production chain, establishing an international talent exchange center, and helping the country build an innovative global industry-academia-research integration platform.


Resuming the vital role of “super connector”

The Central government clearly expressed that the country would make greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign capital and promote high-standard opening-up, to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation with the rest of the world. As normal travel gradually resumes between Hong Kong and the Mainland, the former will once again be able to give full play to its “super connector” role. By lobbying for membership in the RCEP, and signing finer free-trade agreements with other countries and regions, Hong Kong will be able to further elevate its unique position as a gateway to assist Mainland enterprises to “going out and bringing in”.


In particular, Hong Kong can actively line up and lead global investors to participate in the Mainland’s economic and social development. Earlier, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission jointly announced the in-principle approval for the Mainland and Hong Kong exchanges to further expand the scope of eligible stocks under Stock Connect. Riding on the momentum, the HKSAR government should further liaise with the Mainland on expanding the scope of Stock Connect, to provide international investors with a greater choice of quality Mainland investment products, and enlarge Hong Kong’s RMB liquidity pool, which will not only support the internationalization of the RMB, but also consolidate Hong Kong’s position as an offshore RMB hub.


To conclude, the Hong Kong economy will still face many challenges in the new year, but immense opportunities also abound. Hong Kong will once again be able to fully play its role as a participant in domestic circulation and a facilitator in international circulation under the country’s dual-circulation strategy. CGCC will continue to expand its Mainland and global networks to support the steady economic growth in both the Mainland and Hong Kong.