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National development offers opportunities for Hong Kong economy to prosper: finance chief

09/17/2021 Source: Xinhuanet.com

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Hong Kong has benefited from the mainland's reform and opening-up over the past decades and should actively seize new opportunities in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) to charter a new course for a more prosperous future, Hong Kong's finance chief said Thursday.

The five-year plan for national socio-economic development draws up a clear path for Hong Kong to develop its innovation and technology, finance, legal and other professional services, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government Paul Chan told reporters in an interview.

Chan in particular stressed the opportunities in Hong Kong developing renminbi business, green finance, and innovation and technology.

"The economy of the entire country keeps growing and so does the global influence, which makes the renminbi stronger as a reserve currency," Chan said.

Hong Kong should further improve its role as an international offshore renminbi business hub, with efforts to enhance the connectivity with the mainland markets and promote the internationalization of the currency, he said.

The finance chief believed the southbound trading of Bond Connect will offer fresh opportunities as funds will be allowed to flow more freely across the border. "Hong Kong will continue to strive to seize the opportunity and facilitate the global journey of the renminbi."

Given a green trend around the world, Chan said Hong Kong can also play a greater role in green finance by channeling more capital to low-carbon economic activities and related infrastructure projects, especially green projects in the mainland.

The HKSAR government issued 1 billion U.S. dollars of green bonds last year, which were welcomed by investors, and will continue to do so in the future, Chan said.

As Hong Kong boasts advantages in scientific study, global talent and intellectual property protection, Chan said Hong Kong should strengthen technological cooperation with its neighboring city of Shenzhen to develop the industrial chain of innovation and sharpen its global competitiveness.

The HKSAR government will accelerate building the Hong Kong-Shenzhen innovation and technology park, Chan said.

The central authorities recently issued a new plan for comprehensively deepening the reform and opening-up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone. The total area of the zone will be expanded to 120.56 square km from 14.92 square km.

With the expanded cooperation zone, Hong Kong's industries will have broader development room, Chan said.

He also urged young people in Hong Kong to go to Qianhai and seize opportunities there. "Many Hong Kong teams are working in Qianhai's youth innovation and entrepreneur hub," Chan said. "The broader vision and mind you have, the more you will achieve."