Speech at Council Meeting-Members’ Motions ”Giving full play to the role of China-capital enterprises to promote Hong Kong’s integration into the overall development of the country“

MOTION ON “GIVING FULL PLAY TO THE ROLE OF CHINA-CAPITAL ENTERPRISES TO PROMOTE HONG KONG’S INTEGRATION INTO THE OVERALL DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY”

President, first of all, I would like to declare that I have been working for China-capital enterprises since my graduation.  With a profound affection for China-capital enterprises, I am proud to be one of their employees.  I wish to thank Mr YIM Kong for proposing this motion, and the other two Members who are also working for China-capital enterprises for proposing their amendments, so that the legislature can discuss how to give full play to the role of China-capital enterprises.  I would certainly support the original motion and the amendments.

Since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland 26 years ago, China-capital enterprises in Hong Kong have continued to develop and grow, playing a key role in promoting local economic development and social development, as well as ensuring people’s livelihood.  As Members have mentioned, there are currently over 4 000 China-capital enterprises in Hong Kong, with their businesses covering a wide range of fields.

As I have been working for China-capital banks, I, of course, have to talk about the relevant situations.  China-capital banks in Hong Kong have a long history of development, and the one serving in Hong Kong for the longest time has been here for over a century.  As a bridging link connecting the Mainland and Hong Kong as well as connecting China and the world, China-capital banks in Hong Kong have taken root in our city and made unremitting efforts, thereby achieving substantial progress by riding on the strong momentum unleashed by China’s economic take-off.

Before our return to the motherland, there were 21 China-capital banks in Hong Kong.  After our return to the motherland, policy banks, state-owned commercial banks, joint-stock and local commercial banks have set up branches in Hong Kong successively.  Added with the China-capital virtual banks, there are a total of 34 China-capital banks nowadays.  With the ever-increasing number of institutions and continuous improvement in management standards, their operation has become more internationalized and market-oriented.  The market share of total assets, total deposits and total loans of China-capital banks has steadily increased, now exceeding one third respectively.  Their influence on the financial market has been growing continuously, and they have become an important force in fostering financial development and market stability, as well as consolidating and enhancing Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre.

In recent years, China-capital banks have also played a pioneering and leading role in such aspects as the Belt and Road Initiative, development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (“GBA”), internationalization of Renminbi, and financial cooperation and interconnection.  Besides, they have been fully committed to actively promoting such focus areas as practising ESG, fintech, financial inclusion, and green finance.  In tandem with the rapid development of businesses, they also strive to better integrate into the Hong Kong community by participating in charity work in different fields through organizing activities, making donations and other means.  They also care for the underprivileged groups, collaborate with Food Angel to set up the “Food Station”, and encourage staff members to actively participate in community and charitable activities, etc.  At the same time, they attach importance to youth development and have organized and participated in a number of projects to support the employment of local students, such as the Young Banker Summer Programme and the GBA Youth Employment Scheme.

While Hong Kong has entered the new stage of advancing from stability to prosperity, the impact of geopolitical conflicts and the backlash against globalization have brought about a lot of uncertainties.  Standing at a new historical starting point, the SAR Government should give full play to the role of China-capital enterprises in the future, so as to enable China-capital enterprises to better serve as a “ballast stone” and “stabilizer” for Hong Kong’s economic development amid an ever more sophisticated international landscape and fierce market competition faced by Hong Kong.

The National 14th Five-Year Plan has established Hong Kong’s “eight centres” positioning.  While seizing the development opportunities, the SAR Government can capitalize on the role of China-capital enterprises in four aspects.  Firstly, it can organize dedicated personnel to visit central enterprises and/or large enterprises related to the “eight centres” in the Mainland, and persuade these enterprises to invest in projects related to the “eight centres” in Hong Kong.  Secondly, it can select leading China-capital enterprises in Hong Kong which are related to the “eight centres” positioning for setting up a “joint Government-enterprise meeting on integration into the overall development of the country” to regularly report and coordinate the progress of the development of the “eight centres”, so as to mobilize the initiative of China-capital enterprises in better facilitating Hong Kong’s integration into the overall development of the country.  Thirdly, the Government should also actively consider taking on board more views of China-capital enterprises or China-capital organizations obtained during the consultation process on key policies, such as the Policy Address and the Budget, so as to encourage them to offer advice and suggestions for Hong Kong.  Fourthly, the Government can actively engage more volunteers from China-capital enterprises when promoting various types of charity work, such as expanding the scale of Care Teams in various districts, so that China-capital enterprises can better contribute their strength.

For a long time, China-capital enterprises and Hong Kong have been riding on the same boat through thick and thin, and we share the same future.  I believe that in the new era and new journey of our country’s development, China-capital enterprises in Hong Kong will certainly be more committed to proactively supporting and dovetailing with the country’s development blueprints and plans, helping Hong Kong’s economic development and improving people’s livelihood, and continuing to write a new story of “When our country does well, Hong Kong will do well”.

President, I so submit.