Projects improve HK-mainland links
NEW YORK — Several key infrastructure projects including the Guangzhou-ShenzhenHong Kong Express Rail Link and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao b r i d g e w i l l i m p r o v e Ho n g Kong’s links with the Chinese mainland marke t, a senior Hong Kong trade promoter says.
The rail link, expected to open next year, will cut the Hong Kong-Guangzhou travel time from two hours to just 48 minutes, with trains leaving Hong Kong every 15 minutes, Ralph Chow, Hong Kong Trade Development Council regional director for the Americas, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Referring to the bridge, C h o w s a i d : “We c a n d r i v e over to Macao and also to the western part of the Pearl River Delta.”
The project spans the Pearl River Delta and is part o f C h i n a ’s p l a n t o d e v e l o p the Guangdong-Hong KongMacao Greater Bay Area.
“I think that will help Hong Kong get a better connection with the surrounding cities in the region, help Hong Kong maintain its status as the gateway to the mainland market... more importantly, a lot of overseas companies can also get access to the Chinese market more conveniently through the Hong Kong platform,” he said.
Noting that the mainland market has been essential for Hong Kong’s sustained stability and prosperity in the past two decades, Chow said it was important to mark the 20 th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China to reinforce people’s confidence in the “one country, two systems” principle.
“Obviously China offers tremendous business opportunities for both Hong Kong and international businessmen, so I think they obviously are quite comfortable to operate through the Hong Kong platform in assessing the Chinese market,” he said.
“I think our integration with the mainland economy will continue. We’ ll continue to serve as the gateway to the Chinese mainland and also to other Asian markets,” he added.
Currently, nearly 60 percent of the mainland’s outbound investment goes through Hong Kong, which serves as a “very useful and effective conduit for the two-way business between China and the rest of the world”, he said.
Chow believes Hong Kong’s role as a gateway will be further strengthened as the central government pushes forward the Belt and Road Initiative that aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
On one hand, Hong Kong offers many professional services that can help companies invest or become involved in Belt and Road projects, he said. On the other hand, Hong Kong is a global financial center, and many projects planned as part of the Belt and Road infra-
We’ll be able to serve as the conduit for the exchanges between countries from the Belt and Road regions.”
structure network will need financing, and Hong Kong will be able to help, said Chow.
Hong Kong is also the place where East meets West, he added. “We’ ll be able to serve as the conduit for the exchanges between countries from the Belt and Road regions.”
Peng Liyuan (right, front), wife of President Xi Jinping, shows her appreciation for a pop-up card an elderly resident made during her visit to the TWGHs Jockey Club Sunshine Complex for the Elderly in Wong Chuk Hang on Friday.