With its position as an international financial center, Hong Kong has already proved able to overcome the challenges of the financial crisis, the Chief Executive of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said during the Legislative Council's Question Time on the afternoon of January 15.
Tsang noted that Hong Kong will make full efforts to advance its development as an international financial center in the future. China's central government has reiterated that it will provide support to Hong Kong.
On December 19, 2008, the central government unveiled 14 measures in seven categories to support the economic development of Hong Kong, the most important being the improvement of financial cooperation between Hong Kong and Chinese mainland.
The measures include allowing qualified enterprises to make trade payments in RMB, approving the currency swap agreement between the People's Bank of China and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, as well as encouraging Chinese mainland enterprises to make use of Hong Kong as a platform to develop international financial operations and raise funds by going public on the Hong Kong securities market, so as to further reinforce the position of Hong Kong as an international financial center.
Tsang added that Hong Kong will also promote all-round integration with the Pearl River Delta region to form a regional economic entity. The Outline of Reform and Development in the Pearl River Delta, approved by the State Council, called for the improvement in cooperation among Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as the development of the Pearl River Delta region into a world-class metropolitan region, marking the direction of development in the area.
The government of Hong Kong along with relevant authorities of Chinese mainland will engage in follow-up work soon, to draw out a plan that will be most favorable to the long-term development of Hong Kong, in line with the principles of the Outline, and allocate appropriate resources for this plan.
By People's Daily Online