November 8, 2023
HONG KONG – Hong Kong remains among the most competitive economies in the world, and the economy’s recovery momentum will continue to grow, Hong Kong officials said at the second edition of the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit on Tuesday.
The government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region expects the city’s economy to expand at a slightly lower rate of over 3 percent this year.
“Hong Kong’s short-term economic growth mainly relies on the export of tourism services and private consumption, while in the medium term, it will rely on the dual engines of the financial services industry and the innovative technology industry,” Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said at the summit’s luncheon session.
The finance chief expects more tourists and businesses to come to Hong Kong as the city’s interactions with the world continue to increase.
The government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in August already revised its forecast growth rate for Hong Kong’s gross domestic product from 3.5 to 5.5 percent in May to 4 to 5 percent.
At the keynote speech session, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu stressed that the “one country, two systems” principle and the rule of law have distinguished and sustained Hong Kong as a leading international financial center that connects the continuing flow of capital between Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and the world at large”
Chan said the downward revision to the GDP forecast reflects the slowing down of goods exports activities, while more time is needed for the passenger capacities of international flights to recover.
The finance chief added that the government has invested nearly HK$200 billion ($25.64 billion) in the I&T industry in the past few years to cement an ecosystem to attract more companies to Hong Kong, focusing on artificial intelligence and big data analysis, financial technology, biotechnology, and other industries.
Chan noted that as of the end of September, more than 30 companies had settled or expanded their business in Hong Kong, creating about 10,000 jobs.
“Under various talent import plans recommended by the administration, there were approximately 180,000 applications, with more than 100,000 approved. About 70,000 of these talents have arrived in Hong Kong,” Chan added.
The finance chief also said that the government will make huge investments in transportation infrastructure in the future to strengthen connections with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
At the keynote speech session, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu stressed that the “one country, two systems” principle and the rule of law have distinguished and sustained Hong Kong as a leading international financial center that connects the continuing flow of capital between Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and the world at large.”
“We are at the center of the world stage, creating opportunities for a world of business, finance and investment. Hong Kong remains among the most competitive economies in the world,” Lee noted.
The chief executive added that the “one country, two systems” principle, the rule of law, and other institutional safeguards have enabled global investors to have confidence in Hong Kong.
During the summit, Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive Eddie Yue Wai-man warned that there is still uncertainty about how the interest rate trends will affect the global economy, as well as technology and ESG (environmental, social and governance) development.
“As the world maintains high interest rates for a longer period, it will affect the global economy and corporate development, but I believe that instead of avoiding these complexities and uncertainties, it is better to learn how to make full use of challenges and make more progress,” Yue said.
Yue also pointed out that HKMA has faced different currency and economic cycles, and has dealt with two major financial crises in its 30-year history. “After experiencing various difficulties, Hong Kong has gradually developed into a stronger international financial center,” the HKMA chief executive added.