John Lee expounds on HK's five advantages in GBA development
The "Phoenix Financial Forum for the Greater Bay Area" was held simultaneously in Hong Kong and Shenzhen on Wednesday (Sept. 21) morning. Addressing the event, Chief Executive Lee Ka-chiu said Hong Kong is well positioned to play an important role in the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), citing five key advantages that can help the region's development.
Lee said that the development of the GBA is a major strategic development area for the reform and opening up of the country in the new era, which is of great significance to the country's implementation of innovation-driven development, bringing huge opportunities and development momentum. As a representative of the highly open and internationalized cities in the GBA, HK is an international financial, shipping, aviation and trade center with a global reputation for professional services.
Lee said he believes that HK has five key advantages in supporting the future development of the Greater Bay Area.
First, HK is a global leader in offshore RMB business, Lee pointed out. HK has the largest offshore RMB pool in the world, which handles 45% of the world's offshore RMB payments.
Secondly, the interconnection and interoperability between HK and the Mainland capital markets have been strengthened. Lee said that he will continue to discuss with the Mainland the expansion of the connectivity program to facilitate financial flows within the GBA, so as to achieve a mutual benefit from the interconnection.
Thirdly, HK has one of the world's leading investment and financing platforms, he added. As of the end of last month, 78 companies have been listed under the new regime of the HKEx, raising over $580 billion in initial public offerings.
Fourthly, HK is a world-class center for wealth and risk management. According to Lee, HK's assets under management reached HK$35.5 trillion last year, of which 65% came from outside HK.
Fifthly, HK will strive to become a green financial center in the GBA. HK has a strong financing platform and expertise to support green enterprises and projects in the GBA. The HKSAR government has successfully issued nearly US$10 billion equivalent of government green bonds and the first batch of HK$20 billion of green retail bonds was issued in May this year. The government has also relaxed the loan threshold for external assessment under the Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme to support more enterprises to obtain green finance.
Lee said that the next five years will be a critical period for HK to achieve a new leap forward. As the government actively participates in the development of the GBA, the city will strive to serve the needs of the country with its strengths, Lee said.