CY Leung, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
“July 1, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to our Motherland and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Since our return to the Motherland, the principles of “one country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy have been successfully implemented in Hong Kong.
With the staunch support of our country, the concerted efforts of all sectors of the Hong Kong community and the co-operation of the Mainland provinces and municipalities, Hong Kong has made good progress in its social and economic development. The 20th anniversary of our return to the Motherland is a significant milestone and it is time for us to consolidate the unique combined advantages of “one country” and “two systems” that Hong Kong enjoys. Building on what we have achieved, we will work towards the further development of Hong Kong and make greater contribution to our country”.
Hong Kong has enjoyed sustained prosperity for the last twenty years. Looking forward, all indications are that the Special Administrative Region’s economy is expected to grow. Recognized as the worlds’ most free economy, Hong Kong benefits greatly from its proximity to mainland China in addition to the free market system it operates.
Excluding the Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945, Hong Kong was under British Crown rule from 1841 to 1997. The sound legal system established by the British continues to ensure Hong Kong remains an attractive business location and foreign direct investment destination. Coupled with low taxation, Hong Kong became, and remains, one of the world’s leading global financial centres.
However, another financial centre in the region is often compared to Hong Kong – Singapore. Although similar in many ways, both places offer distinct advantages depending on businesses demands.
“Singapore’s close relationship with Hong Kong is underpinned by strong economic ties”, says Robert Ng, Chairman of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong (SCCHK). “In 2015, Hong Kong was Singapore’s sixth largest trading partner and total bilateral trade amounted to S$58.2 billion. It is also our third largest cumulative investment destination.
Mutually beneficial business co-operations are vital and there are many similarities between the two that create a natural bond including Hong Kong and Singapore’s roles as two of the largest financial centres in Asia. Singapore compliments Hong Kong as another important global financial center in the region. Our vision is to help our Chamber members doing businesses in Hong Kong to continue to grow in Hong Kong, Macao and Southern China by fostering closer economic links, business understanding and co-operation between Singapore, Hong Kong, China and other countries in the region”.
As Singapore’s relationship with Hong Kong continues to grow, Dr. Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, Chairman of The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce recognises the important role of both economies:
“Considering both Hong Kong and Singapore’s economic standings, while there is competition between the two, there is also a high degree of collaboration and both are improving their business environments through closer cooperation. The reality is that Hong Kong and Singapore are continually learning from one another and are proactively working more closely together. While there is mutual admiration between the two, it must be remembered that Singapore could not do what Hong Kong does in terms of mainland China trade as Hong Kong is part of China, and likewise, Hong Kong could not play the same role as that of Singapore, being an ASEAN country, in Southeast Asia. As a regional investment destination, Hong Kong is an open minded, international city which enjoys strong economic ties to the region and Singapore will undoubtedly remain a key partner for Hong Kong, now and in the future.”