Chairman's Message
Chairman's Message - Taking Advantage of Hong Kong’s Irreplaceable Function and Position

Dr Jonathan CHOI Koon-shum (Chairman of the 50th terms of office) June 2017


At a reception for the Chamber’s new term of Committee Members in Beijing last month, Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peopleʼs Congress, stressed that “One Country, Two Systems” is the best framework for the interests of Hong Kong’s development, and its successful implementation is widely recognized by the international community. He suggested that Hong Kong should jump on the bandwagon of the country’s economic development, seizing the growth opportunities arising from the “Belt and Road” initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, and bringing its unique competitive edge and function as a “super connector” into full play.


I am much inspired by the Chairman’s interpretation of “One Country, Two Systems” and the development of Hong Kong. While paying visits to the Chairman and other government ministries and commissions, I also expressed my views regarding the function and role of Hong Kong under the dual advantages of “One Country” and “Two Systems”, as well as how we should actively participate in national development.


The irreplaceable functions of Hong Kong

The Chairman emphasized that the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong, which has been upheld for twenty years after the reunification, is largely due to the full implementation of “One Country, Two Systems”, and Hong Kong has even been playing an irreplaceable and important role in driving “bringing in” and “going global” for the country. In fact, leveraging the benefits of “One Country”, we are the first to share the opportunities and outcomes of the economic development in China. While receiving the Chamber's Beijing delegation, Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Yan also highlighted that the various CEPA incentive policies offered to Hong Kong are the most generous measures while the Mainland is opening up to the world, which indicates that China has attached great importance to the development of Hong Kong.


Moreover, Hong Kong has continued to integrate with the international community thanks to the unique edge of “Two Systems”. Overseas companies tapping into the Hong Kong market are investing in China on one hand and enjoying the protection from a business system that is different from other Mainland cities on the other. Similarly, Mainland companies getting into overseas markets through Hong Kong are also receiving professional service support widely recognized around the world.


Catching China’s economic express train

The Chairman specifically mentioned that the country’s “economic express train” is running at high speed, and a VIP seat has even been reserved for Hong Kong. We are welcome to “board the train” any time, provided that Hong Kong must focus its efforts in developing its economy so as to seize the development opportunities of the country and to exert Hong Kong's unique functions and competitive advantages.


I mentioned quite often that China’s active facilitation of the “Belt and Road” initiative is providing Hong Kong with unprecedented abundance of opportunities. Hong Kong can give full play to its function as an international financial center to support the infrastructure projects along “Belt and Road”. Recently, Hong Kong has become a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which would further strengthen Hong Kong’s function as a financing platform. Furthermore, Hong Kong merchants have a strong business network and a wealth of business operation experience in various markets around the world, and it could open up more cooperation opportunities in the market by increasing its investment along “Belt and Road” and taking part in operation management.


Speaking of the planning of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, it does not only help South China to step up and become a major platform for facilitating the country’s economic development and opening-up, but also positions the area as an essential node to connect with ASEAN through the Maritime Silk Road in the long run. We believe that industries in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau are all strong in their own rights. By strengthening cooperation, the three regions could form an industrial cluster in which they complement each other’s strengths with a judicious division of labor. That could enhance the overall competitiveness of the Greater Bay Area and establish it into a world-renowned metropolitan circle that is on a par with Tokyo, New York and San Francisco.


Improving the Chamber’s networking function

In the future, besides positioning ourselves as the CGCC for Hong Kong, assisting members to adapt to changes in the business environment and voicing the demands of the sectors, we shall also be the CGCC for all of China, proactively strengthening collaboration with the industrial and commercial organizations in the Mainland, promoting the joining up of Hong Kong and Mainland companies to offer support for “going global”, as well as extending the unique function of Hong Kong in expanding the Mainland market.


Last year, we joined the Belt and Road Industrial and Commercial Alliance spearheaded by the China Federation of Industrial Economics and became a founding member to actively promote the cooperation of the chambers of commerce and business associations along the routes, as well as to help companies learn about and explore business opportunities from the initiative. We also worked closely with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade at many levels to look at the prospects in the economic, industrial and business collaboration between China and Hong Kong.


To sum up the outcomes of this Beijing delegation, we are very grateful for the Chairman’s hearty affirmation of the Chamber’s long-term efforts in propelling the reform and opening-up of the country, as well as in promoting Hong Kong’s economic development. Looking forward, we will surely continue to uphold our fine tradition of loving our Motherland and Hong Kong, lend our unwavering support to the new Chief Executive and the new SAR government in administering Hong Kong in accordance with the law, actively put the networking advantage of the Chamber to work, and join forces to expand further in the market.