At a once-in-a-century time of major change, China’s Two Sessions concluded in Beijing last month. Attending the meetings as a member of the CPPCC National Committee, I was very aware of the great attention being paid by both local and foreign media to our national development.
During the meetings this year, proposals for the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Long-Range Objectives through 2035 were passed. The sections concerning Hong Kong and Macao have laid a key foundation for the long-term development of our city.
In addition to the continued support for Hong Kong to enhance its status as an international financial, transportation and trade centre, as well as an international aviation hub, the 14th Five-Year Plan has also proposed to strengthen Hong Kong’s role as a global offshore RMB business hub, and a centre for international asset management and risk management.
The plan also includes clear support for Hong Kong to establish itself as a global centre for innovation and technology, a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in Asia Pacific, and a regional intellectual property trading hub.
It is foreseeable that Hong Kong’s services sector will move towards a high value-added development, which will open up a promising future for various professional services including innovation and technology, financial services, insurance, accounting, taxation, auditing, as well as testing and certification.
The coming five years will not only be critical to the development of Hong Kong, but also a challenging period as we figure out how to move forward in a post-pandemic world. We must leverage our advantages of One Country, Two Systems and work towards complementary development with the Mainland, in order to get on board the express train of national development. In particular, Hong Kong can cooperate with other cities in the GBA to tap into international markets.
However, this will only be possible if the pandemic is contained as soon as possible, to enable the reopening of the border between Hong Kong and the Mainland. To this end, at the Two Sessions meetings, I proposed to the Central Government to allow vaccinated Hong Kong residents to travel across the border without quarantine.
Hong Kong has suffered for almost two years with a double whammy of the social unrest and the coronavirus pandemic. Political disputes will only add to the costs for Hong Kong. The Central Government’s plan to fully implement the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” and to reform the electoral system will help to promote the long-term prosperity and stability of the city. I strongly believe that One Country, Two Systems will be upheld, and Hong Kong will continue to enjoy free trade and remain as the world’s most competitive city.