Dr Charles YEUNG (Chairman of the 48th, 49th terms of office) February 2016
The Chamber will fully cooperate with the HKSAR Government and look forward to the active cooperation of different sectors so that the various policy measures can be put in place as soon as possible, working together to drive Hong Kong’s economy forward.
As we welcome the auspicious Year of the Golden Monkey, I wish all CGCC committee members, members and friends a Happy New Year of good health and prosperity!
In his fourth Policy Address delivered last month, the Chief Executive put forward a series of specific directions and practical measures for driving Hong Kong’s long-term economic development. Particularly in alignment with national development and promoting innovative economic development, it brings many new bright spots, which inject a new momentum to boost Hong Kong’s competitive advantages and sustainable economic development.
Actively capturing opportunities arising from national development
China’s implementation of its “13th-Five-year Plan” and “One Belt and One Road” strategic initiative, plus the official kick-off of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), will bring huge economic opportunities for the region. The Policy Address has for the first time presented specific plans to deepen Hong Kong’s cooperation with the countries along the “One Belt and One Road”. These include: forming the “One Belt and One Road” Steering Committee and Office; supporting the professional services sector in enhancing exchanges and cooperation with external regions; and setting up a platform for financing, funding, trade and logistics, which will help speed up Hong Kong’s development of RMB financing business and boost its position as a hub in the global market. In addition, Hong Kong can further perform its functional role as a “super-connector” between the Mainland and the rest of the world.
he Chamber always keeps abreast with the pace of national development and actively explores ways to drive Hong Kong to play a unique role in the process. At the CGCC Forum held earlier this year, several experts and scholars from the Mainland and Hong Kong shared their opinions on the “13th-Five-year Plan” and “One Belt and One Road”, as well as Hong Kong’s role. We will continue to capitalise on the Chamber’s network to make suggestions on deepening Hong Kong’s cooperation with the Mainland and “One Belt and One Road” countries by organizing various activities and strengthening ties with the “One Belt and One Road” office to be set up in the future.
The Policy Address also mentioned taking the lead to encourage people-to-people bonding, including establishing an educational, cultural and youth exchange platform and increasing the number of scholarships to encourage students of the “One Belt and One Road” regions to further their study in Hong Kong. We concur with the Government’s commitment in this aspect, which will not only enable Hong Kong’s young people to acquire a deeper understanding of the developments in the Mainland and neighbouring countries, but also help speed up the pace of Chinese culture “going global”. In fact, the Chamber always emphasizes the fostering and development of young people. Each year we will sponsor local university students to undertake internships and exchanges in the Mainland. This year we will further extend the sponsorship scheme to secondary school students. We will continue to cooperate with the HKSAR Government on its efforts to accelerate Hong Kong’s drive to become an “One Belt and One Road” personnel training base, and assist in augmenting the cultural soft power of Hong Kong and the country as a whole.
Strengthening innovation and technology development
Innovation and technology are important elements for driving economic growth and diversified economic development. The Policy Address set out several policy measures to stimulate the development of creativity, innovation and technology. These include setting up the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund to co-invest with private venture funds through a matching process in order to provide multi-faceted support to local innovation and technology development. We hope that the authorities would appropriately improve the relevant administrative procedures when implementing the support measures by, for instance, streamlining as far as possible the application processes and approval procedures for the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund and other related support schemes to further increase the effectiveness and attractiveness of the schemes. In order to accelerate the development of the related industries, we also hope that the authorities can actively provide support in terms of infrastructure and human resources, including providing sufficient land supply for the innovation, technology and high value-added industries and attracting more talents and enterprises from the Mainland and overseas to Hong Kong. It can also further coordinate the cooperation among the industries, government departments, academia and research institutes to accelerate innovation and technology development, technology transfers and project commercialisation in order to create a better environment for business incubation and technology development to further strengthen Hong Kong’s competitiveness and knowledge-based economic development.
To sum up, the latest Policy Address is very comprehensive and forward-looking. We envisage that Hong Kong’s economy will face many challenges in the New Year; the Policy Address’s focus on leading Hong Kong to capture the opportunities arising from national development and promoting economic innovation is in the right direction. The Chamber will fully cooperate with the HKSAR Government and look forward to the active cooperation of different sectors so that the various policy measures can be put in place as soon as possible, working together to drive Hong Kong’s economy forward.