Hong Kong with unique advantages brought by “one country, two systems” is very well positioned to help businesses seize fresh opportunities in the Belt and Road Initiative, Chief Executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Wednesday.
Lam made the remarks when addressing the sixth Belt & Road Summit, which runs from Wednesday to Thursday online under the theme of “Driving Growth through Fostering Regional and International Trade.”
Hong Kong boasts a business-friendly environment, low taxes, the rule of law, free economy, modern infrastructure and wealth of talent, she said.
Hong Kong boasts Business Friendly Environment, Low Taxes, Rule of Law, Free Economy, Modern Infrastructure and Wealth of Talent: Carrie Lam
Lam stressed Hong Kong’s competitiveness will be further reinforced by the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan.
“The plan recognises Hong Kong’s traditional strengths in finance, transportation, trade, legal services and dispute resolution. And, for the first time, it also acknowledges our potential and aspirations in innovation and technology, aviation, cultural exchange and intellectual property,” Lam said.
The event, jointly organised by the HKSAR government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, is expected to bring together more than 6,000 government officials, entrepreneurs and business leaders from over 80 countries and regions.
Addressing the global attendees, the Chief Executive emphasised the significance of multilateralism amid the continuing spread of protectionism across the globe.
The Belt & Road Initiative along with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement will boost the manifold benefits of multilateralism, she said.
The RCEP groups together the 10 ASEAN Members; Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam plus Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Hong Kong enjoys close trade and investment relations with the economies of RCEP, including FTAs with 13 of the 15 founding nations in the RCEP accord.
In her speech, Lam also said the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will offer enormous opportunities for Hong Kong and global businesses at large.
An outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area was promulgated in 2019, and despite disruptions caused by COVID-19, good progress has been made in enhancing the flow of people, goods, capital and information within the area, Lam said.
Lam believed that the fast-emerging Greater Bay Area is a market too big and too promising to ignore.
“With a population of some 86 million and a combined GDP of about US$1.7 trillion, which is largely equivalent to the ninth-largest economy in the world, the Greater Bay Area presents immense potential for Hong Kong and the economies and companies that work with Hong Kong,” she said.