HK eyes greater opportunity with regional integration
Global Times

View of Hong Kong CBD in February 2018 (Photo: IC)

Hong Kong, as an international center for trade, finance and shipping, could help enterprises in the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region expand their presence in the international market and help Chinese mainland cities attract foreign investment, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Friday.

She said Hong Kong's finance industry could help mainland enterprises be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Lam made the remarks in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where she was attending the 2019 Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation Executive Chiefs Joint Meeting.

On people-to-people exchanges, Lam said Hong Kong's Vocational Training Council plans to set up a center in Guangxi to strengthen exchanges between young people in the mainland and Hong Kong.

Participants of the meeting identified six key tasks for the coming year, which include promoting the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, connecting infrastructure and deepening industry, tourism and ecology cooperation, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

Lam visited the Guangxi-Hong Kong Standards and Testing Centre (STC) on Friday.

The Administration for Market Regulation of Guangxi signed a cooperation agreement with the STC in June to offer international quality certification to Guangxi enterprises and promote more Guangxi products and brands in the international market.

The Pan-Pearl River Delta Region, which covers an area that produces one-third of China's GDP, includes Hainan, Yunnan, Hunan, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Fujian, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

Lam's Guangxi visit comes amid Hong Kong's ongoing turmoil that has seriously affected its economy.

On Friday, global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings downgraded Hong Kong's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating to "AA" from "AA+" and said Hong Kong's ratings outlook is negative.

But Lam said she did not agree with the ratings, as what happened in the past two months did not weaken the "one country, two systems" and the rule of law.

Lam said the continued violence affected business confidence in Hong Kong, and some people may be anxious and have a negative view of Hong Kong. But the Hong Kong government will be more determined to uphold the "one country, two systems," and she called on residents who care about Hong Kong to stop violence as soon as possible.