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The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA)’s Business, Financial and Professionals Delegation visited Shanghai today (September 25). The delegation, led by BPA Council Chairman Dr Peter Lam Kin-ngok, visited the United Front Work Department of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Administration and the Shanghai Equity Exchange. At these meetings, the delegation exchanged views on topics of mutual concern, including the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and the Shanghai FTZ. Mr Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, BPA Chairman, described the visit as “fruitful” with bilateral expressions of intent to strengthen cooperation between the two cities, and to enter into a win-win and complementary partnership to achieve the synergistic effect of “one plus one equals three”.
Cooperative ties between Shanghai and Hong Kong have always been close. With the impending launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, which is derived from the close cooperation between the financial sectors in both cities, this will undoubtedly inject fresh vitality into the stock markets of both cities. At a meeting with Mr Huang Hongyuan, SSE General Manager, to discuss the progress of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, Mr Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, BPA Vice Chairman and Legislative Councilor for the Financial Service Functional Constituency, said he had relayed the views of the Hong Kong securities industry to the SSE. These included concerns whether the Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect would be able to launch on schedule in October, quota adjustments, recapitalisation, taxation, and charges for financial information terminals. He looked forward to continuous systemic improvements and the strengthening of cooperation between the two cities. He believed that the technical infrastructure for the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect had already been completed by the SSE and the scheme should be able to commence as planned in October pending the resolution of certain coordination issues.
Mr George Leung Siu-kay, Asia Pacific Adviser at HSBC and a delegation member, pointed out that the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect was an important step in opening up capital markets and the furtherance of financial reforms in China over the coming years as regulatory departments on the Mainland make further enhancements to satisfy international demand.
Mr Wang Xinling, Deputy Director of the Shanghai FTZ Administration, provided an overview of the progress with the Shanghai FTZ on the occasion of its first anniversary. Dr Lo Wai-kwok, Vice Chairman of the BPA, said the Shanghai FTZ’s many achievements within a space of one year were most impressive and he looked forward to additional policies to facilitate the development of commercial, financial and professional sectors, thereby providing ample opportunities for enterprises from Hong Kong, which would in turn provide a vast pool of professional experience for the Mainland to tap into. He added that a similar model could be replicated in other provinces if the Shanghai FTZ proved to be a success.
Mr Andrew Leung believed that there was room on the Mainland to accommodate two international financial centres respectively in Hong Kong and Shanghai, which would have the effect of shifting the centre of economic gravity to Asia and to benefit China’s development at the same time. He encouraged professionals to develop their careers in the Shanghai FTZ, which provided upward mobility opportunities for Hong Kong’s younger generation of workers. Mr Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, Vice Chairman of the BPA, said BPA pledged to provide an exchange platform for the business and professional sectors in Hong Kong in anticipation of increased prospects arising from closer relations between Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Members of the delegation also comprised Mr David Wong Shou-yeh, Honorary President of the Hong Kong – Shanghai Economic Development Association and Chairman of Dah Sing Bank, Mr William Doo Wai-hoi, Vice President of the Shanghai Chinese Overseas Friendship Association and Vice Chairman of New World Development, Mr Ivan Chu Kwok-leung, Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific, Ms Helena Wai Suk-chong, Vice Chairperson of CLSA, Mr Joseph Lo Kin-ching, Chairman of Deloitte China, Dr Yim Fung, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Guotai Junan International, Mrs Sally Wong Chi-ming, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association.
The delegation is scheduled to meet with Mr Han Zheng, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Shanghai Party Secretary, tomorrow.