Hong Kong maintains one of the most competitive economies in the world: HKSAR chief executive
Published: Nov 07, 2023 03:54 PM
A view of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong Photo: VCG

A view of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong Photo: VCG

Hong Kong remains among the most competitive economies in the world, and the One Country, Two Systems policy distinguishes and sustains the city, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Tuesday at the ongoing Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit held in Hong Kong.

The world today is more complex and challenging than ever, especially given that geopolitical risks continue to proliferate, squeezing international trade and complicating global supply chains, Lee said.

"What distinguishes and sustains Hong Kong is our One Country, Two Systems policy," Lee said. 

Through that guiding principle flows through HKSAR's common law system - the only such jurisdiction in China. As many of the major financial centers around the world practice common law, this commonality in legal systems creates more certainty and understanding for all. It adds to the unique strengths of Hong Kong, as a leading international financial center, he said.

"Together, One Country, Two Systems and the rule of law tell the world that Hong Kong is, and will remain, the gateway between the Chinese mainland and global markets, the conduit for the continuing flow of capital between Hong Kong, our country and the world at large," Lee said.

Hong Kong remains among the most competitive economies in the world, this year ranking seventh, globally, by the International Institute for Management Development, he said.

Earlier this year, the IMF reaffirmed Hong Kong's standing as an international financial centre. The IMF recognized Hong Kong's robust institutional framework, substantial capital and liquidity buffers, high-quality financial regulation and well-functioning Linked Exchange Rate System.

In the past two years, initial public offering funds raised here reached nearly $85 billion. Asset and wealth management business at the end of 2022 reached just under $4 trillion - higher than our 2019 total. Hong Kong is also Asia's hedge fund hub and the region's second-largest private equity center, Lee said.

For the past seven years, Hong Kong has been the largest centre for arranging international bonds by Asian issuers. And Hong Kong remains Asia's largest hub for green and sustainable bonds, capturing 35 percent of the market.

As for the territory's Growth Enterprise Market - Hong Kong's second stock market board - we will streamline transfers to the Main Board, adding a new listing route for R&D companies and reducing compliance obligations for issuers, Lee added.

And HKEX will promote Hong Kong's listing platform to overseas issuers, including those in the ASEAN and Middle East markets. The goal is attracting more corporations to raise capital here and, in doing so, diversify Hong Kong's issue mix, he said.

Themed "Living with Complexity," the three-day event attracted some 300 leaders from the world, including more than 90 group chairmen or CEOs from the world's top financial institutions including banks, securities firms, asset owners and private equity firms.