Senior adviser upbeat about HK's future

2024-03-06 09:16:19China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying says city can help country's development

Former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying has reaffirmed his unshakable confidence in China's bright future and Hong Kong's economy and says he hopes the two sessions will further align the city's advantages with the country's needs.

Leung, who now serves as a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, also encouraged Hong Kong members of the nation's top political advisory body to see for themselves the latest developments in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and other parts of the Chinese mainland.

The two sessions are the annual gatherings in Beijing of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, and the CPPCC National Committee, the country's top political advisory body. The CPPCC National Committee session began on Monday and the NPC session opened on Tuesday.

Before the CPPCC National Committee session opened, Leung said in an interview that he is confident in both the nation's and Hong Kong's economic performance, believing that Hong Kong's advantages in trade and international connectivity can help the country scale new heights in development.

"We are a very important offshore trade center," Leung said. "Hong Kong can enlarge its outreach and sell the very good products and produce produced by the Chinese mainland to bigger markets at higher prices — in the meantime, boosting the development of Hong Kong's industries."

Leung cited his trips to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region as an example.

"I was in Xinjiang last year three times. Eye-opening," he said. "And I could sense a lot of contributions that the various sectors of Hong Kong could make."

One area was exporting Xinjiang's produce through Hong Kong to other markets to achieve better prices and obtain a bigger market share overseas.

Leung's visits to Xinjiang were also a testament to his belief that Hong Kong members of the nation's top political advisory body should see for themselves the progress made since the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic curbs.

Leung said his major duty as a deputy head of the CPPCC National Committee is to help Hong Kong members articulate their views about how Hong Kong can assist the country as a whole in achieving high-quality development.

Because of the anti-pandemic restrictions, many Hong Kong members had not been able to travel across the country, Leung said.

Cities in the Bay Area, within easy reach of Hong Kong, were places that the Hong Kong CPPCC National Committee members should never miss, he added.

By visiting the mainland, members can provide better input on the governance and the development of the country on both the social and economic levels, Leung said.

Leung said Hong Kong and the international business communities based in the city have made some headway on seizing the opportunities presented by the integration of cities in the Bay Area, and more measures should be carried out to facilitate flows of personnel, capital, goods and data in the region.


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