CY Leung promotes HK's role as 'connector'

Updated: 2013-04-07 15:01


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HONG KONG - Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung on Saturday night advocated Hong Kong's position as a connector in Asia, linking the region on different levels - people-to-people, or P2P, business-to-business, or B2B, and government-to-government, G2G levels.

"Throughout our history, Hong Kong has dedicated itself to promoting development for all; development for Hong Kong, for our motherland and for our overseas partners," he told the Hong Kong SAR Dinner at the 2013 Boao Forum for Asia in South China's Hainan province.

Over the years, Hong Kong has evolved as an efficient international gateway both into and out of the Chinese mainland. This is good for Hong Kong, for the country and for foreign countries, he said.

"But just serving as China's gateway to the world is no longer good enough. Times are changing. The greatest economic transition in the world over the past 30 years has been China's opening-up."

Hong Kong has risen to the occasion and transitioned into a new role - as a connector between China and the international community, he said.

Another change for Hong Kong is the growing competition in Asia and around the world to enter the Chinese market. The "Made in China" label is fast being replaced by "Bought in China".

A more recent development has been the global economic swing in favor of Asia. "Seeking development for all is not about grabbing a greater share of whatever market, instead we need to create larger markets by diversifying the range and expanding the depth of economic activities in Asia."

Leung said Hong Kong served as a connector between China and other Asian economies and the international community with international trade links, efficient infrastructure and logistics, free flow of information and financial connectivity.

In particular, Hong Kong is the testing ground for the internationalization of the Chinese currency - the renminbi. Liberalization of the renminbi is a natural and inevitable extension of China's position as the fastest growing large economy in the world, he said.

He also elaborated on Hong Kong's five advantages - Hong Kong's crucial internal relations with the Chinese mainland, external relations effectively connecting China to the world, free trade pacts with other economies, proven mutual benefits for both Hong Kong and the mainland, and efficient information distribution.

These are five main areas "where Hong Kong can blend these ingredients more closely together for a sustainable development, not just for Hong Kong, but for our partners in Asia and beyond," Leung said.

He also called for the establishment of a barrier-free economy in the Asian region.

"To do this, we in Hong Kong shall have to remove more barriers in the region, be they physical, political or economic. Hong Kong stands ready to share our experience in building a barrier-free economy," he added.

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CY Leung promotes HK's role as 'connector'