Projects im­prove HK-main­land links

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF HKSAR -

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.”

IN­FOR­MA­TION SER­VICES DEPART­MENT

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.

Ralph Chow,

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