When meeting with its delegation to Beijing, Wang Yang, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Chairman of CPPCC National Committee, encouraged the Chamber to capture the major opportunities from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area) and the “Belt and Road Initiative” (B&R) to help expedite Hong Kong’s integration into the country’s overall development.
Last month, Jonathan Choi, the Chamber’s Chairman, led a high-level delegation to Beijing and was received by Chairman Wang of CPPCC National Committee. Wang gave full recognition to the Chamber’s efforts after he was briefed on its latest developments. He said that the Chamber has always supported the HKSAR Government and Chief Executive after reunification, especially on several key issues, including supporting constitutional reform, opposing the Occupy Central Movement and opposing Hong Kong independence, where it has a firm and clear-cut position. He also praised the Chamber for being an important force of loving both the country and Hong Kong and setting a good example for the Hong Kong business community. Since the founding of the new China 70 years ago, the Chamber has always stood on the side of the motherland and the people to drive the Hong Kong business community to engage in China’s reform and opening-up.
Capture B&R and Greater Bay Area opportunities
With the ongoing development of B&R and the Greater Bay Area, Wang encouraged the Chamber to capture the major underlying opportunities to expedite Hong Kong’s integration into the national development landscape, and give full support to the HKSAR Government and Chief Executive in exercising governance in accordance with the law, while providing stronger guidance and assistance to the younger generation, with the aim of pooling positive energy. He stressed that the “one country, two systems” arrangement best suits the interests of Hong Kong and China, with the country providing the strongest backing for Hong Kong. As the Hong Kong business community is a participant and promoter of national development as well as an important force for prosperity and stability, he looks forward to the Chamber continuing to lead its members to help the country scale new heights.
Hope for Hong Kong people’s support on Ordinance amendments
During the meeting, Wang reiterated the Central Government’s support for the HKSAR Government on amending the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. Choi stressed that the Chamber has always fully supported the amendments, which will help eliminate the legal loopholes that may exist in the transfer of fugitives from Hong Kong to other jurisdictions and safeguard Hong Kong’s core values such as the rule of law, fairness and justice.
Trade war accelerates China’s innovation drive
Referring to how the China-US trade war is panning out, Wang said that the trade friction will inevitably cause losses, but it will also be a driving force for innovation and economic transformation in China. It will further propel China’s reform and opening-up and accelerate the pace of enterprises “going global”, enabling the country to be an engine for bilateral and multilateral trade. He also hopes that Hong Kong will capitalize on the advantages of the “one country, two systems” principle and leverage its network of international contacts and professional know-how to go global with Mainland enterprises.
Participants of the reception also included: You Quan, Head of the United Front Work Department (UFWD); Xia Baolong, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the CPPCC National Committee; Zhang Yijiong, Executive Deputy Head of the UFWD; Zhang Xiaoming, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council; Zhu Xiaodan, Chairman of the Sub-committee for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Compatriots and Overseas Chinese of CPPCC; Tan Tianxing, Deputy Head of the UFWD; and Tan Tieniu, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR.
Leverage Hong Kong’s strengths to serve the country’s needs
Choi thanked the Central Leadership for affirming and supporting the Chamber’s efforts over the years and expressed his interest in the development of the Greater Bay Area. He said that Hong Kong could develop into an international innovation and technology hub with the support of the Greater Bay Area as a hinterland. He hopes that the Central Government will support the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to explore more innovative solutions to speed up the integration of the Greater Bay Area’s city cluster. Choi added that while China-US trade issues add uncertainty to the global economy and trade, development of the Greater Bay Area and B&R will bring new opportunities for the country and Hong Kong. The Chamber will actively leverage Hong Kong’s strengths to serve the country’s needs so that Hong Kong will progress and prosper together with the country.
With regard to the Greater Bay Area’s role as a demonstration for the Mainland’s in-depth cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao, Charles Yeung, the Chamber’s Life Honorary Chairman, suggested building an integrated model of “Guangdong-Hong Kong Cooperation Zone” to bring together Hong Kong’s network of international contacts and the Mainland’s talents. Yuen Mo, the Chamber’s Vice-chairman, stressed that the Chamber will continue to unite its member companies and the Hong Kong business community to support the HKSAR Government in exercising governance in accordance with the law, and participate in more public welfare affairs to create a harmonious and stable social environment. In addition, Ricky Tsang, the Chamber’s Vice-chairman, gave a short presentation on its efforts in training Hong Kong’s young people as well as cooperation on technology and innovation, with the aim of strengthening young people’s understanding of the Greater Bay Area in order for them to find development opportunities in the area.
The delegation was headed by Choi and joined by Tan Tieniu as Honorary Advisor, Yeung as Honorary Head, Zhu Wen, Director-general of the Coordination Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR as Consultant, as well as Yuen, Tsang, Brandon Liu, Connie Wong, Tommy Li and Rock Chen, the Chamber’s Vice-chairmen as Deputy Heads, and Lam Ming-sum and David Fong, the Chamber’s Life Honorary Chairmen as Honorary Deputy Heads.
Beijing Trip for Exploration of Opportunities
Ma Biao (middle, front row)
Zhang Yijiong (middle, front row)
The delegation to Beijing also visited several central ministries and business organizations to exchange views on the economy, trade and people’s livelihood in the Mainland and Hong Kong.
Over the years, many of the Chamber’s members also serve as national and provincial CPPCC members. Ma Biao, Vice-chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, said that the Chamber must study in depth the spirit of President Xi Jinping’s key speeches during his meeting with delegations from Hong Kong and Macao to celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up last year. It must also capture the major opportunities from the development of the Greater Bay Area and B&R to contribute to the country’s reform and opening-up and safeguard Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability in the new era.
Zhang Yijiong, Executive Deputy Head of the UFWD, hopes that the Chamber will continue to play an active role in uniting the Hong Kong people to work together to promote economic development and build a harmonious society, and participate in the development of B&R and the Greater Bay Area to scale new heights with the motherland.
Zhang Xiaoming (right)
Zhang Xiaoming, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, spoke highly of the Chamber’s efforts and patriotic tradition, and its active role in the 40 years of reform and opening-up, nurturing many talents for the country over the years. He believes that Hong Kong has a new mission amid the current turbulent global situation in this new era. He hopes that Hong Kong will make use of its special status, especially its business community can leverage its strengths and characteristics to serve as a buffer. In addition, Zhang reiterated the Central Government’s support for the HKSAR Government in amending the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. He said that this move is for maintaining Hong Kong’s core value of the rule of law and upholding social justice.
Wang Bingnan (third from left)
In March this year, the National People’s Congress voted to adopt the Foreign Investment Law, which will be formally implemented next year. Wang Bingnan, Vice Minister of Commerce, stressed that opening up to the rest of the world is China’s fundamental national policy, and the provisions of the new law are a result of review and consolidation according to the actual situation in order to better protect the interests of foreign investors, including Hong Kong and Macao investors in the Mainland. He added that B&R and the Greater Bay Area are developing progressively and their demand for professional services is set to increase. He encouraged Hong Kong’s businesses and younger generation to actively participate in investing in the development of modern service industries in the Mainland.
Li Yizhong (right)
As the Chamber has close ties with the Mainland’s business organizations, the delegation met with the leaders of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), and the China Federation of Industrial Economics (CFIE) while it was in Beijing. Li Yizhong, Chairman of CFIE, said that CFIE has always been monitoring the development of the Greater Bay Area. He pointed out that the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong can leverage their respective strengths to step up cooperation in three areas: “finance + manufacturing”, “innovation & technology + manufacturing”, and “services + manufacturing”. He hopes that CFIE and the Chamber will share resources and broaden their mindset to jointly promote economic development in the Mainland and Hong Kong.
Wang Yongqing (right)
Wang Yongqing, Vice-chairman of ACFIC, said that the world needs China for development, while China's development is inseparable from the world. In this era of common development of mankind, the Mainland’s private enterprises play an important role by actively going global, but they also face challenges, e.g. many of the Mainland’s parks and zones are in need of upgrading and transformation in response to the actual environment. Business organizations such as chambers of commerce need to further strengthen their functions to play a more effective role in liaison and coordination.
Chen Zhou (fifth from left)
Chen Zhou, Vice Chairman of CCPIT, noted that the Chamber has always been an important partner of CCPIT, and both parties should seize the current opportunity to explore closer and more diversified forms of cooperation, working hand in hand to lead the Mainland and Hong Kong enterprises to go global and participate in the development of B&R and the Greater Bay Area.
Unveiling of Tsang Hin-chi Sculpture at Yuan Ming Yuan
Tsang Hin-chi, the Chamber’s Life Honorary Chairman, donated RMB 8 million in 1993 to help repair the walls of Yuan Ming Yuan, which played a decisive role in the preservation of the site of the Palace. To advocate Tsang’s patriotic act of charity, Yuan Ming Yuan specially invited Zhi Min, Vice-president of the Chinese Sculpture Institute of the Chinese National Academy of Arts, to craft a bronze bust sculpture of Tsang. A solemn unveiling ceremony was held at where the three gardens meet in Yuan Ming Yuan on 24 May. During their respective speeches, Song Zhe, Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, and Yang Liwei, China’s first astronaut and Space Hero, praised Tsang for his service to the country and for being a role model for patriots in the new era. The Chamber’s delegation to Beijing attended the unveiling ceremony to witness this momentous occasion.