Paul Chan, financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said Tuesday that he is hopeful that Hong Kong's economic recovery will find root in the second half of this year.
The recovery will be based on progress in COVID-19 vaccinations, Chan said when addressing a forum held online, adding that the economic ride will remain rough in the first half.
Chan further pointed out that Hong Kong still retains its distinctive advantages under "one country, two systems," including a world-class financial system and professional services prowess. He also cited the free flow of information, talent, capital and goods, the rule of law, a level playing field, a low and simple tax regime, and deep market liquidity.
Hong Kong is the business and investment bridge between the mainland and the rest of the world. "We are the premier listing platform of choice for international and mainland companies, and we continue to build on that unrivaled advantage."
During his speech, Chan also cited Hong Kong's progress in financial development.
Hong Kong has become the world's second-largest fund-raising venue for biotech companies and over the past 12 years, led the world seven times in total funds raised through IPOs, he said.
Hong Kong has also been a regional leader in the promotion of smart banking and is committed to becoming the region's green and sustainable finance hub, he said.
Looking to the future, Chan expressed his strong optimism and said Hong Kong will embrace enormous opportunities arising from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development.
The 14th Asian Financial Forum running from Monday to Tuesday was organized by the HKSAR government and Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
Under the theme "Reshaping the World Economic Landscape", the forum held online attracted more than 160 policymakers, financial experts, investors, business leaders and economists from across the world.