Mr YUEN Mo (Chairman of the 52nd terms of office) August 2022
President Xi emphasized that Hong Kong enjoys good conditions and broad space for development thanks to its special status. It is imperative for Hong Kong to seize historic opportunities offered by the country’s development.
In his monumental speech delivered on July 1, President Xi Jinping raised “four musts” and “four expectations”, clearly laying out the strategic direction for the future development of Hong Kong. It is important for various sectors in Hong Kong to take President Xi’s words to heart, while CGCC takes the lead to organize seminars for its members and the business sector at large to promote thorough understanding and realization of President Xi’s expectations.
President Xi stressed the importance for Hong Kong to further improve its governance and continue to create strong impetus for growth, with which we fully agree. Indeed, in light of different internal and external challenges in recent years, the HKSAR government must make decisions resolutely in order to implement policies effectively and efficiently.
As soon as the new Chief Executive and his administration assumed office last month, they began working on areas with which the public and various sectors are concerned, and strived to foster positive interaction between the executive and legislative bodies. The new administration also actively engaged stakeholders from various sectors, including CGCC. The strong sense of responsibility demonstrated by the new-term government has certainly heightened anticipation in society.
In our opinion, the key to improving governance is to streamline the government structure and eliminate procedural barriers, and improve inter-departmental communication; in particular, an unambiguous coordination mechanism should be in place for handling serious matters. Concurrently, the authorities need to promote long-term policy research to more accurately gauge public needs and sentiment based on scientific evidence.
Strengthening “super connector” role
President Xi also said in his speech that the Central government fully supports Hong Kong in its effort to keep its business environment free and open, so as to expand and facilitate its exchanges with the world. This is greatly encouraging to the business sector. Xia Baolong, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and the Vice-Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, described the motherland’s support for Hong Kong to connect with the world as a “big gift package”, and urged Hong Kong society to cherish and make good use of the Central government’s support.
For one thing, Hong Kong should actively act as a participant in domestic circulation and a facilitator in international circulation under the country’s dual-circulation strategy, by fulfilling its role in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area). Not only can Hong Kong assist overseas companies to develop in the Greater Bay Area, but it can also help Mainland companies explore business opportunities overseas through its extensive network. To align and coordinate effort and support for businesses in the Greater Bay Area, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao can look into the possibility of developing an information sharing platform, establishing a joint committee, and setting up a dedicated office to provide one-stop information, advice and integrated services to businesses.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong should leverage its relative advantage and provide, overseas and Mainland businesses with the professional services they need. It can initiate the establishment of a coordination committee for financial regulation in the Greater Bay Area to handle cross-border issues in this regard. Leveraging the unique advantages of the Northern Metropolis, Hong Kong can also strengthen cooperation with Shenzhen, promote the conversion and marketization of scientific research results in the Greater Bay Area, and create more favorable conditions to attract international talent and capital.
Ensuring social harmony and stability
President Xi pointed out that Hong Kong should earnestly address people’s concerns and difficulties in daily life. During his first question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council, the Chief Executive proposed setting up four task forces to tackle issues relating to intergenerational poverty, land supply, the production of public housing, and district affairs. We are eager to see the new-term government adopt an innovative mindset when it comes to land and housing supply, and to see it review relevant policies according to the actual needs of society, so as to address public demand for housing.
We also hope that the government will further build on its poverty alleviation and elderly care policies, and provide greater incentives for the business sector and social welfare organizations to participate in the provision of elderly services, as well as explore cooperation with Mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area to diversify elderly services in the region. In addition, the local authorities need to actively find ways to increase education and employment opportunities for Hong Kong young people, and strengthen their awareness of national security and national education.
President Xi emphasized that Hong Kong enjoys good conditions and broad space for development thanks to its special status. It is imperative for Hong Kong to seize historic opportunities offered by the country’s development, create further impetus for growth, and actively dovetail itself with national strategies, while carrying out more extensive exchanges and close cooperation with the rest of the world, to ensure prosperous, stable development ahead.