The rapid development of the Chinese mainland's e-commerce sector has offered the world "valuable lessons" on how to boost the economy with the internet, said Tara Joseph, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, or AmCham.
In an exclusive interview with China Daily, the chamber president described China as "large, engaging and fast".
A former financial journalist for nearly 22 years, Joseph took the post as AmCham's president in February 2017. Both jobs have offered her opportunities to observe China's economy, allowing her to see firsthand the progress the country has achieved, she said.
"The most inspiring thing that I have seen in China has been in the technology sector and entrepreneurship," Joseph said, adding that one of her favorite encounters in China was the trip she was assigned to cover the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in September 2016.
"I was pleasantly surprised by the desire, passion, interest and curiosity that were going on in the tech sector. And there is real entrepreneurial spirit," Joseph said.
Her admiration of China's technology-driven economy has been further intensified by the chamber's recent trip to Beijing, during which she met Wang Xiaofeng－chief executive of China's leading bike-sharing company Mobike.
"Our delegation was touched by the story of Mobike," she said. It turns cycling, a simple and common thing in the country, into an international, internet-based business model everyone around the world could relate to, Joseph said.
The journalist-turned chamber president hence expressed her high expectation for the nation's technology sector, describing it as a sector with "obvious development potential" in the country's future.
What Joseph experienced in China was a reflection of the country's determination to move up the value chain.
In the report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in mid-October, General Secretary Xi Jinping said China will move industries up to the medium and high-end of the global value chain, and promote further integration of the internet, big data and artificial intelligence with the real economy.
To Joseph, who chairs a chamber charged with fostering commerce on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and the United States, moving up the value chain is an exciting goal.
With the report, the world could now see clearly where China wants to go and what plan the nation would adopt to achieve that goal, Joseph explained.
Another highlight that impressed the chamber chief is China's emphasis on the environment.
In the report, Xi emphasized that China must pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards and healthy ecosystems.
"The emphasis on the environment shows China goes beyond 'we just want to develop' to a sustainable model of development, which would definitely benefit the population not just in China, but also the world," Joseph told China Daily.
Joseph has lived in Hong Kong for more than 15 years. She calls the city her home. The reason behind her decision to quit reporting and become the head of a commerce chamber is her desire to make a difference for Hong Kong, which she cares deeply about.