This week’s Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit in Hong Kong was an effort by the Hong Kong government to restore its position as a financial hub, which has been somewhat weakened due to China’s pandemic measures and other global responses. But despite John Lee’s optimistic address at the summit, the actual situation appears to be less than rosy, with several adopting a wait-and-see attitude.
In a preliminary agreement, US officials will get their long-sought access to vet accounting companies based in mainland China and Hong Kong and review audit documents related to Chinese businesses. Will this stem the tide of Chinese companies being delisted from US stock exchanges?
Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, notes that China’s emergence as an economic powerhouse has been accompanied by the rise to prominence of seasoned financial technocrats or self-taught experts. While these "new kids on the block" will most likely enter the new CCP Central Committee this fall for the first time, time will tell how they will respond to the many daunting economic and financial challenges at both the provincial and national levels.
As the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover draws near, Hong Konger Thomas Chan reflects on the changes that have taken place over the last few years and the real and pressing issue of residents, especially the young, drifting away. Most are seeking better prospects abroad in a wry turn of events from a time when the city was viewed as the land of opportunity. Now, amid dreary skies and Telegram alerts announcing yet another citizen-police chase, the city stands forlorn as it watches its people leave.
In the first of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, Zaobao business correspondent Lai Oi Lai gives an update on the trend of high-net-worth Chinese investors coming to Singapore to set up family offices and invest in start-ups.
While the drama over a potential split-up of HSBC is still unfolding, what is clear is that geopolitical tensions may raise the stakes on potential financial decoupling down the road. Mixed West-East financial institutions such as HSBC stand at the forefront of the transitions and realignments under way.
Amid US-China tensions, mainland China companies blacklisted by the US are expected to expand their presence in Hong Kong. While it may seem that the special autonomous region will reap the benefits, NUS academic Ben Charoenwong says investors are in fact wary of the costs involved and may look to other financial hubs like Singapore. But is Singapore ready to fill that role?
The Chinese government has recently announced plans to establish a unified national market that is highly efficient, standardised, open and competitive. It would break down walls, raise the standards of the business environment within China and act as a buffer against external pressures. While the intention is good, NUS academic Lu Xi points to possible drawbacks and challenges.
The Hengqin Plan and Qianhai Plan released by the Chinese central government aim to deepen economic cooperation and promote cross-border integration within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA). The Plans will involve greater integration of Hong Kong and Macau with the mainland. While Macau has always embraced this trajectory and the Hengqin Plan could bring greater dynamism to the SAR, Hong Kong’s fears of “mainlandisation” and the territorial instincts of mainland cities may present some obstacles to the Qianhai Plan. EAI academic Yu Hong tells us more.