Programme Paper

Project: Asia Programme

Kerry Brown and Sophie Steel
  • The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) has quickly bounced back from the effects of the global economic recession in 2008/09. Economic indicators for the first half of 2010 are strong and attention is turning to the medium- to long-term outlook and Hong Kong's position in the region.
  • While previously Hong Kong has been seen as the gateway into China, in the future it is also increasingly likely to be the gateway out of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It now needs to focus on how it can best exploit this for its international positioning as others become interested in directly attracting PRC funds and investment.
  • Hong Kong currently stands in a unique position to exploit the attractiveness of its stock market for the Mainland, and also to be an RMB (renminbi) market. Government and business policy-makers are now engaging with a Mainland Chinese economy which in terms of size and importance is growing increasingly important globally.
  • Shanghai will continue to press its claims to be a major financial centre. The scale of development needed to serve the Mainland's burgeoning domestic financial requirements is likely to absorb much of Shanghai's energy and resources. The issue for Hong Kong is how to adapt its historic attributes to preserve key advantages, without being overwhelmed by the demands, and indeed the risks, that the Mainland presents: working with Shanghai, rather than against it.
  • Hong Kong's continued role as a leading international centre for finance and for commerce more broadly depends on strengthening rather than weakening such factors in the years ahead.