Dr Jonathan CHOI Koon-shum (Chairman of the 51st terms of office) February 2019
The country’s full commitment to developing the Greater Bay Area is a rare opportunity for Hong Kong to improve competitiveness of its industries. Hong Kong can serve as a “central city” to drive the development of surrounding areas.
On behalf of CGCC, I wish you all the best of luck, thriving business and good health in the Year of the Pig !
Over the past year, as political and economic uncertainties created headwinds for the global economic and business landscape, Hong Kong’s economic growth momentum decelerated in tandem. New policy measures announced by the Central Government last month in response to the complex and volatile external environment, together with the just released development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area (Greater Bay Area), will help Hong Kong businesses tap into diverse markets to offset external impacts. We will continue to assist members and the business community to lobby for more business facilitation measures for a promising new year ahead.
Hoping to see greater clarity in Sino-US trade relations
As we embark on a new year, we are glad to see the resumption of Sino-US trade negotiations and look forward to an early consensus between the two countries. Indeed, the Mainland has not only resumed importing soybeans from the US and lowered the applicable tax rates for US vehicles and parts, but also introduced multiple rounds of tariff cuts and market liberalization measures, which clearly demonstrates her active efforts in achieving a win-win outcome built on cooperation with economic and trade partners, including the US.
Nevertheless, there will always be uncertainties as to whether the two countries can resolve their differences on a number of structural issues in the near term. Besides keeping a close eye on the progress of trade negotiations, the Hong Kong business community must also focus on tapping new market opportunities, broadly establishing multilateral economic and trade ties, and strengthening its resilience and nimbleness to address external uncertainties.
Playing the role as Greater Bay Area’s central city
The country’s full commitment to developing the Greater Bay Area is a rare opportunity for Hong Kong to improve competitiveness of its industries. As the Greater Bay Area development plan comes into play, Hong Kong can serve as a “central city” to drive the development of surrounding areas.
Hong Kong had actively participated in the country’s reform and opening-up in the past four decades. The HKSAR Government has also stepped up its efforts in recent years to drive innovation and technology (I&T) development, with a view to making Hong Kong an international I&T hub. Leveraging on Hong Kong’s strengths, other cities in the Greater Bay Area can greatly enhance the entire region’s global influence and form a world-class urban cluster.
For Hong Kong businesses, the Greater Bay Area is not only a huge market with a population of nearly 70 million people and a total production value of over RMB10 trillion, it is also a key access to other Mainland provinces and cities as well as the “Belt and Road” (B&R) markets.
Helping Hong Kong businesses capture new opportunities
The Financial Secretary is about to announce a new Budget and CGCC submitted a written submission to the HKSAR Government earlier, expressing our hope for stronger government support to deepen cooperation between Hong Kong businesses and the Greater Bay Area as well as the surrounding areas to cope with the latest global political and economic situation. We will drum up support from relevant mainland authorities to look into more measures to facilitate Hong Kong businesses and talent to seek growth opportunities up north.
Faced with challenges posed by external developments, the Hong Kong business community must vigilantly cope with risks and actively capture opportunities for cooperation in the Greater Bay Area and the B&R. We look forward to seeing concerted effort by the business community and the society at large in the new year to integrate into the country’s development landscape. We should prepare ourselves for new opportunities in the new era, and continue to make inroads into the country for joint development and common prosperity.