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HK has key role in five-year plan

By OSWALD CHAN in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-25 08:57
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Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam meets the press in Hong Kong, Aug 24, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Political heavyweights said Hong Kong could make a significant impact in advancing the central government's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) as the city plays a unique and irreplaceable role in the nation's reform and opening-up.

Their views were echoed by business leaders in the Embracing the 14th Five-Year Plan and Dual Circulation Strategy Summit organized by the Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association and Hong Kong Trade Development Council in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

"Hong Kong has the advantage of 'one country, two systems'," Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said at the summit. "The 14th Five-Year Plan further clarifies the role and position of Hong Kong. The city will deepen linkages with the mainland capital market through leveraging its own niches in the financial sector to exert significant impact in many dimensions.

"For example, Hong Kong's financial market can provide all types of renminbi-denominated investment and risk-management financial products for offshore renminbi holders, who are growing rapidly. The city can continue to be a reliable international financing platform for mainland enterprises. Hong Kong can also provide a slew of diversified investment and financial planning options for affluent mainland residents."

In March, the National People's Congress approved the outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan, pledging to support Hong Kong to enhance its status as a global offshore renminbi business hub, an international asset-management center and a risk-management center.

The latest five-year plan will provide Hong Kong with more space for development, said Huang Liuquan, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.

"Reform and opening-up, 'one country, two systems' and building a high-quality Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area are the three fundamental unchanged policies of the central government," Huang said at the summit. "Hong Kong plays a unique and differentiated role in the nation's reform and opening-up. Its contribution is significant and irreplaceable.

"As one of the four core cities of the Bay Area, Hong Kong will complement other cities in the city cluster in the aspects of finance, technology innovation and services industry."

The 14th Five-Year Plan also pledged to develop Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology hub and a regional intellectual property trading center; establish it as a center for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region; and promote service industries for high-end and high value-added development.

At another event in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Hu Zhaohui, deputy director of the development planning department at the National Development and Reform Commission, said the nation's 14th Five-Year Plan provides the city with more opportunities and space to engage in the country's "dual circulation" development paradigm.

Zhou Chengjun, director of the People's Bank of China's Finance Research Institute, said that Hong Kong as a global financial hub should maintain a sense of urgency to strengthen its strengths and improve its competitiveness in finance.

The dual circulation strategy and the Bay Area development road map consolidate Hong Kong's irreplaceable and unique role, said Yuen Mo, chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce in the city.

Yuen said Hong Kong is ahead of the curve in many respects, particularly research and innovation on drones, and astronomical science.

Wang Yuke and Kathy Zhang contributed to this story.

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