HONG KONG — Although Hong Kong’s economy is under short-term pressure amid the fifth wave of COVID-19 infections, the business sector believes that Hong Kong’s future development is limitless due to the unique advantages given by “one country, two systems” and the vast mainland market.
Yang Yuchuan, a professor with the Hong Kong Financial Services Institute, said that “one country, two systems” has helped Hong Kong become a two-way platform. Overseas companies and investors enter the Chinese mainland market through Hong Kong, and mainland companies use Hong Kong in expanding their operations overseas.
Eden Wong Yi-dung, president of CPA Australia Greater China Division, said that as an international financial center, Hong Kong is a main fund-raising platform for mainland and overseas enterprises.
In recent years, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) has reformed the listing system, allowing companies with weighted voting rights structure and pre-revenue biotech companies to be listed in Hong Kong, and allowing China concept stocks to come to Hong Kong for the secondary listing.
The new listing regime for special purpose acquisition companies introduced by the HKEX earlier this year will continue to enhance the attractiveness of Hong Kong’s financial market to Chinese and foreign enterprises and investors, Wong said.
Hong Hao, managing director and chief strategist at BOCOM International, said that with its unique advantages from geographical location and “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong has a strong link with the country’s strategic development pattern and will not be easily shaken by short-term external shocks such as the epidemic.
“We will prevail over the epidemic. In the long run, Hong Kong’s business prospects remain vibrant,” Hong said.
Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) Stephen Phillips said that data and exchanges between InvestHK and enterprises have shown that the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong has not caused foreign investors to leave Hong Kong.
Phillips said that the number of overseas and mainland companies in Hong Kong rose to a record high of more than 9,000 last year, while the number of start-ups set up in Hong Kong by local, international and mainland companies also reached a record high.
Yang said that implementation of the national security law and improvement of the electoral system in Hong Kong have eliminated the direct impact of disruptive forces on the development of Hong Kong.
Moreover, sound and sustained development of the mainland economy has provided strong impetus and space for Hong Kong’s development, and made Hong Kong more attractive to international capital, Yang said.
A survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong earlier this year showed that American companies in Hong Kong are much more confident about Hong Kong’s business prospects than they were last year, and many of the chamber’s members have been planning expanding investment.
A recent survey by CPA Australia revealed that the majority of members interviewed said their companies or employers were “very confident” and “confident” about overcoming the fifth wave of COVID-19, indicating the resilience of Hong Kong businesses in the face of adversity.
Wong said that with the support of the central authorities and the concerted efforts of all sectors in Hong Kong to fight COVID-19, Hong Kong’s economy is expected to rebound significantly after the epidemic comes under control.
In addition, the business sector generally believes that Hong Kong’s further integration into the national development landscape will provide a steady stream of business opportunities for various enterprises operating in Hong Kong.
“I am having absolute and resolute confidence in Hong Kong’s economic prospect,” Paul Chan, financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said in his blog recently.
Chan stressed that by having a precise assessment on the overall development trend, and acting decisively to capitalize on the development of and support from the country, Hong Kong will overcome any short-term challenges and move forward.