Hong Kong financial summit didn’t ‘lose luster’; some people lost grace: Global Times editorial
Published: Nov 02, 2022 12:24 AM
Staff members help visitors using virtual reality headsets at the booth of Metaverse during Fintech Week 2022 in Hong Kong on November 1, 2022. Hong Kong hosts a week of financial conferences aimed at resuscitating the Chinese hub's image.Photo: AFP

Staff members help visitors using virtual reality headsets at the booth of Metaverse during Fintech Week 2022 in Hong Kong on November 1, 2022. Hong Kong hosts a week of financial conferences aimed at resuscitating the Chinese hub's image.Photo: AFP

Hong Kong is sending a strong signal to the world that it is opening its doors for business. With the successive launches of large-scale international events such as the "Hong Kong FinTech Week,'' "the Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit'' and the Hong Kong Sevens tournament which returned from a hiatus of over three years, a large number of business leaders in the fields of finance and technology have arrived in Hong Kong in the past few days. "Pearl of the Orient" has once again opened its arms to welcome new and old friends. As Hong Kong's Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said, Hong Kong is "telling the world that we're back. Back in business... and pleasure, of welcoming you to Hong Kong."

Less than half a month after the successful conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a series of large-scale international events have been held in Hong Kong, the highlight of which is the "Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit.'' It officially kicked off on Tuesday. More than 200 international and regional executives from about 120 financial institutions around the world will exchange opinions and share experiences on the theme of "Navigating Beyond Uncertainty." Over 40 institutions, such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and UBS Group AG, are represented by their chairmen or chief executive officers. The summit also has a special session on mainland's policy, enabling participants to share views of China's financial regulators. The certainty and stability brought about by the 20th CPC National Congress will quickly radiate outward through Hong Kong. Hong Kong's role as a "super-connector" between China and the world is becoming even more prominent.

Undoubtedly, the participants came with confidence and expectation that Hong Kong will be better tomorrow. The Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit and the FinTech Week will become important junctures for Hong Kong's shift "from governance to prosperity". This is something that some people do not want to see. They have been doing everything possible to cause trouble. Some politicians in Washington openly criticized the participating international financial executives, kidnapped them morally and even made public threats, inciting people to "boycott" the summit. Some overseas media deliberately amplified the news that individual financial executives were unable to attend for objective reasons and claimed the summit "will lose its luster." Although they were still as "hardworking" as before to disrupt, the summit was successfully held as scheduled, which was the strongest answer to them and reflected their narrow-mindedness, ugliness and powerlessness.

In Hong Kong's past development, similar scenarios happened many times. Indeed some people don't want Hong Kong to prosper -- they hope chaos grips Hong Kong, but their influence over Hong Kong is shrinking rapidly. It can be seen from the summit that Washington politicians' actions of disrupting normal exchanges in the financial sector with pan-politicization are unpopular. A few US lawmakers cannot stop international financial institutions and multinational companies from investing in Hong Kong out of their own interests, nor can they shake their overall positive judgment on Hong Kong from a professional perspective.

In the preparation process of this Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit, there was one detail that was telling. The discussion session of the summit was originally set for only one day, but many participants voiced their "suggestions" to the organizer, thinking that the summit was too short for them to fully express their views. 

Hong Kong side has made relevant adjustment. Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Hong Kong Academy of Finance held an additional symposium on "international investment dialogue" the next day, inviting several heavyweight figures to share how to cope with challenges and grasp opportunities. There are many such examples, which restore the truth that is different from the narrative of the US and the West. 

It should be stressed that the Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit is not only a major event for Hong Kong, but also an international major event. The world economy is facing unprecedented difficulties with rising global financial risks. At this juncture, Hong Kong, as an international financial center, invited financial executives from around the world to the city with an open mind to exchange views, it is in fact building a public platform for global brainstorming, making contribution to global economic relief and financial stability. In the face of increasing severe global challenges, everyone should discard Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice. 

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress stressed to give full play to the strengths and distinctive features of Hong Kong and Macao to see them consolidate and elevate their international positions in finance, trade, shipping, aviation, innovation and technology, culture and tourism, and other fields, and encourage Hong Kong and Macao to conduct deeper, closer and broader exchanges and cooperation with other regions and countries.  

The central government has a firm and clear attitude in supporting Hong Kong's opening-up. Hong Kong's advantage of "backed by the motherland and facing the world" has become more prominent as the city shifts "from chaos to governance" to the new phase of "from governance to prosperity." The Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit is a testament to it. Hong Kong has set off from a new starting point. As for those people who make noises, just let them whine far behind.