Hong Kong Business News




The Government today said the remarks by some individuals on Hong Kong's economic and financial development have clearly overlooked the city’s existing advantages and the current positive development momentum and added that it needs to set the record straight.

In a statement, the Government stressed that the real economic growth rates of the Mainland in the first quarter this year and the whole of last year were both above 5%, which are higher than the respective target, ranking it among the fastest-growing major economies in the world.

According to a study by the International Monetary Fund, the Mainland economy contributed to more than 30% of global economic growth. The country's innovative research and development as well as application capabilities in new economic areas such as new energy vehicles, industrial robots, artificial intelligence and green development are widely recognised worldwide.

As regards Hong Kong, its economy is growing steadily as well, having achieved a positive growth rate of 3.3% in 2023. Taking on the momentum of the steady development of the economy, the real gross domestic product grew at a year-on-year rate of 2.7% in the first quarter this year and it is estimated that there will be a growth of about 2.5 to 3.5% for the whole year.

The statement pointed out that Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre is being reinforced and upgraded, with the market capitalisation of Hong Kong stocks exceeding $33 trillion, 10 times of that at the time of the return to the motherland in 1997.

The Stock Connect has also brought about cumulative northbound and southbound capital flows of more than 1.8 trillion renminbi and $3.1 trillion respectively.

The statement added that these figures demonstrate that Hong Kong as an international financial centre has fully utilised its ability to mobilise both Mainland and foreign capital, and will continue to play a key role in helping to "bring in" international enterprises and investors, as well as assisting Mainland enterprises to "go out".

Additionally, the statement emphasised that the Hong Kong stock market has also seen numerous new highlights in recent years, with the average daily transaction volume of Exchange Traded Funds on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange exceeding $13 billion in the first quarter this year, an increase of more than 70% from 2021.

Regarding derivatives, the total futures trading volume reached 149 million last year. Apart from representing a 40% increase from 2021, this also reflects Hong Kong's ongoing development as an international risk management centre, it added.

The statement noted that the China Securities Regulatory Commission recently announced five new measures to support the development of Hong Kong's financial sector.

Besides creating a positive market atmosphere, these measures would also bring long-term structural enhancements to the Hong Kong market, such as including real estate investment trusts in the Stock Connect, further enriching the choice of products available.

On wealth management, Hong Kong’s asset management scale exceeds $30.5 trillion. Plus, recent market research estimates there are over 2,700 single family offices in the city, making it an ideal location for high-net-worth asset owners to set up and develop their business.

The statement indicated that the effective functioning of "one country, two systems" is the cornerstone of Hong Kong's ongoing prosperity while the Basic Law explicitly protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

It also highlighted that vast opportunities lie ahead and they will attract talent and businesses to develop in Hong Kong.

As of end-April, around 290,000 applications had been received under various talent admissions schemes, and around 180,000 had been approved. Over 120,000 people already arrived in Hong Kong, bringing support to the city's labour force and economic development.

As of 2023, there were over 9,000 companies in Hong Kong with their headquarters in the Mainland or overseas.

In attracting strategic enterprises, more than 50 companies have established or expanded business in Hong Kong or will do so in the future, and they are expected to bring over $40 billion in investment and over 13,000 job opportunities in the coming few years.

The Government said it has been implementing the "one country, two systems" principle under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy, in strict accordance with the Basic Law.

The successful implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law and Safeguarding National Security Ordinance has brought about a safe and stable environment conducive to investment and financial development, it added.

A survey conducted by a major foreign chamber of commerce early this year revealed that nearly 80% of its members had confidence in the rule of law in Hong Kong, and nearly 70% of them also said the operation of their enterprises had not been affected by the security law.

Furthermore, the statement revealed that the "Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area" supports Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre, a global offshore RMB business hub, an international asset and risk management centre, as well as its development into a green finance centre and a platform for investment and financing serving the Belt & Road Initiative.

The Government said that various data and facts not only reflect the performance of Hong Kong's economic and financial development, but more importantly highlight the city's unique advantages and strategic position under the "one country, two systems" principle, as well as its resilience and flexibility, in the face of global instability.

While the external environment will remain complicated, the Mainland and Hong Kong's economic growth is steadily improving and even in a faster pace than some developed economies, it added.


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