Dr Charles YEUNG (Chairman of the 48th, 49th terms of office) August 2015
Zhang Dejiang said that Hong Kong people must look to the future and maximise Hong Kong’s strengths to focus on economic development and improving people’s livelihood by seizing the opportunities arising from the country’s new round of strategic economic development.
Last month, Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, met with the Chamber’s delegation to Beijing. In addition to citing the five policy principles for Hong Kong, Zhang said that Hong Kong people must look to the future and maximise Hong Kong’s strengths to focus on economic development and improving people’s livelihood by seizing the opportunities arising from the country’s new round of strategic economic development. He also called on the Chamber to continue to support the administration of the Chief Executive and the HKSAR Government, unite the business community and the society, and pay close attention to the younger generation’s growth and development in order to contribute to Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.
Looking for New Growth Drivers to Enhance Competitiveness
I am deeply inspired by the top legislator’s expectations for Hong Kong and guidance for the Chamber. He stressed that Hong Kong’s international status and competitive advantages are dependent on a rising economic strength. Faced with intense competition in the global economy, Hong Kong must strengthen its preparedness for adversity and put aside political disputes quickly in order to utilise the unique advantages derived from the “one country, two systems” principle to further consolidate its status as an international financial, shipping and commercial centre, enhance its competitiveness and nurture new economic growth drivers. Only then can it effectively capture the development opportunities arising from the country’s major strategic initiatives such as those for the “One Belt and One Road” and “going global”.
The top legislator’s remarks show the Central Leadership’s in-depth understanding of Hong Kong’s economic and social development, as well as its pragmatic attitude towards dealing with Hong Kong’s issues. The Chamber will continue taking concrete actions to support the HKSAR Government to drive Hong Kong’s economic development and in-depth cooperation with the Mainland. For instance, the Chamber will encourage member companies and the business community to actively participate in the investment and construction of the Guangdong FTZ and offer suggestions on how Hong Kong should integrate with the country’s 13th Five-year Plan. We will actively help Hong Kong strengthen its ties with the rest of the world, especially the surrounding Southeast Asia region, and through platforms such as the “World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention”, fulfil the Chamber’s role as a bridge to connect with Chinese businesses at home and abroad and drive regional economic cooperation. We will also actively explore the use of Hong Kong’s strengths in financial and professional services to persuade the “Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank” to set up their regional headquarters and “Silk Road Fund” to set up regional operation and management centre in Hong Kong, exercise Hong Kong’s intermediary function for “going global and bringing in investment” and elevate Hong Kong’s status as an international financial and commercial centre. This will help Hong Kong open up the huge business opportunities in the regions along the “One Belt and One Road” and the whole Asia in the long run.
Attach Importance to Youth and Successor Development
I am also impressed with Zhang’s deep concern for the growth of Hong Kong’s younger generation. He looked forward to the Chamber actively promoting youth development to strengthen their national identity and sense of belonging, and actively supporting the HKSAR Government’s policies such as those for housing, education and employment in order to lay a solid foundation for the younger generation’s future development and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.
In fact, the Chamber has continually strived to nurture the younger generation to become visionary and creative successors who are willing to commit themselves, and help them understand more fully the opportunities arising from the country’s new developments. We will continue to promote youth development, including funding Hong Kong’s students for internships in the Mainland as well as organising training courses and exchange programmes, providing a platform to facilitate interaction among young people of the Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. The Chamber’s delegation to Beijing included young committee members for the first time, which precisely was to give them an opportunity to gain in-depth exposure and understanding of the country to prepare them to make a greater commitment to the future development of the Chamber, Hong Kong and China.
In summary, the trip not only makes me feel that the Central Leadership attaches great importance to Hong Kong and the Chamber, but also gives me more determination to work with the Chamber’s current committee and members to achieve the four major objectives of driving the Chamber’s support for Hong Kong’s steady development, promoting close contact among the four places (the Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao), strengthening interaction with the rest of the world and nurturing young talents. We will carry on the Chamber’s patriotic tradition to perform its role as a bridge to connect the business community, making sustained efforts for the country and Hong Kong’s development.