Hong Kong can attract foreign technologies and investments by
acting as a 'super connector', leveraging the advantages of
'one country' and 'two systems', according to Chief
Executive Leung Chun-ying in his January 2016 Policy Address. We
take a look at why Hong Kong is well-suited for this role.
The One Belt, One road (Belt and Road) initiative
refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century
Maritime Silk Road; and the aim to promote economic cooperation
with countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes.
According to the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his January
2016 Policy Address, the initiative will help power the future for
Hong Kong, China and more than 60 economies along its
linked corridors. Key characteristics include an economic policy of
free enterprise and free trade, the rule of law, a well-educated
workforce, sophisticated commercial infrastructure as well as a
seaport and an airport.
A financial management hub
Hong Kong's geographic position makes it an ideal link
between China and the rest of the world. It is a regional leader in
a knowledge-based economy, well connected with entrepreneurs to
support an outward-looking internationally minded population.
At the China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable in
2009, the Chief Executive explained that Hong Kong can help set the
Belt and Road in motion. Its high degree of openness and
recognition as one of the world's freest economies has helped
maintain a reputable standing and valuable international
Hong Kong has the expertise, capacity and connections to serve
as the fund-raising and financial management hub for the Belt and
Road. It is more than China's international financial centre;
it is also one of the world's financial capitals and the
seventh largest stock market in terms of market capitalisation.
Globally, it ranks second in equity funds raised through initial
The government is also looking to issue its third sukuk (Islamic
bonds) and become an Islamic bond centre to meet the financing
needs of the Islamic markets.
Increase of Chinese enterprises
In recent years, the number of Chinese enterprises in Hong Kong
has increased significantly, which reaffirms the city's unique
role as 'the major springboard' for Chinese companies to
Data released by the government last October,
illustrates Hong Kong's position as an international financial
hub in the world, with growth among financing and banking companies
in the last five years. The number of business operating in Hong
Kong with parent companies overseas and in the mainland climbed to
a new record of 7,904 in 2015, an increase of 4.2% compared to the
previous year. Combined, these 7,904 companies have already
employed about 422,000 people, which is a 4.3% increase compared to
Also in a five-year period, the number of businesses with parent
companies located in China, and companies engaged in the financing
and banking sector saw even more growth, both increasing by 36%
from 805 and 1,059 respectively in 2011.
Government support for financial technology (Fintech) start-ups
has been growing as the sector compliments the city's strength
in financial services and existing talent pool. In April 2015, the
Hong Kong government created the Steering Group on Financial
Technologies; and plans for the first Innovation and Technology
Bureau were also mapped. The Chief Executive also announced a HK$2
billion fund to boost investment in innovation and technology
during his policy address in January.
Cybersecurity, block chain, e-payments, robotics, Internet of
Things (IoT) and regulatory technology will be among top niche
industries being targeted as Hong Kong looks for greater
recognition as a Fintech hub.
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