Hong Kong – Looking Ahead to a Bright Future
In her 2021 Policy Address entitled “Building a Bright Future Together”, the Chief Executive, Mrs
Carrie Lam, set Hong Kong on course for a new era of development driven by closer integration with
the Mainland China economy and opportunities under the effective implementation of “one country,
– Hong Kong’s National Security Law has helped to restore stability and put the “one country, two systems” principle back on the right track.
– Legislation for improving the electoral system ensures “patriots administering Hong Kong” and constructive relations between the Government and the legislature.
– 40 proposals to ensure that the Legislative Council can better perform its role in conveying public opinion in key areas.
National support for HK’s economic development
– Take forward as a priority 8 sectors highlighted in the “Outline of the 14th Five Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China” (the Plan) to enhance economic integration with the Mainland:
— 4 traditional sectors: international financial centre; international transportation centre; centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific Region; and international trade centre.
— 4 emerging sectors: international innovation and technology (I&T) hub; regional intellectual property (IP) trading centre; international aviation hub and east-meets-west centre for international cultural exchange.
– Actively take forward the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), including promoting the development of major platforms for Guangdong- Hong Kong-Macao co-operation such as Qianhai in Shenzhen and Hengqin in Zhuhai.
— The Plan for Comprehensive Deepening Reform & Opening Up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone: promoting the full liberalisation of trade in services in Qianhai, giving full play to Hong Kong’s advantages in high-end professional services, and expanding the room for development for professionals and enterprises in Hong Kong
— The Plan for the Development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Co-operation Zone in Hengqin: the commissioning of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge gives rise to favourable conditions for Hong Kong’s participation in Hengqin development, e.g. co-operation between the airports of Hong Kong and Zhuhai to enhance air cargo and logistics capabilities.
Massive infrastructure developments to power HK’s economy for decades
– Northern Metropolis covering about 300 square kilometres to be developed into a metropolis that is ideal for people to live, work and travel, with I&T industry as the economic engine to support the city’s development as an international I&T Hub.
– San Tin Technopole covering about 1,100 hectares comprising about 240 hectares I&T land to become an integrated “Silicon Valley” for Hong Kong.
– Setting up InnoLife Healthtech Hub in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop.
– Building landmark I&T facilities with a scale comparable to Cyberport at Lau Fau Shan facing Qianhai, Shenzhen on the opposite side of the Shenzhen Bay.
– Closer social and economic collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in areas such as economic development, infrastructure, I&T and ecological conservation through the formation of a spatial framework of “Twin Cities, Three Circles”.
– Upgrading the Hung Shui Kuk/Ha Tsuen New Development Area to become the New Territories North Modern Services Centre to echo and integrate with the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone to bring tremendous opportunities for Hong Kong’s professional services.
– On full development, the Northern Metropolis would be home to some 2.5 million people and offer 650,000 jobs, including 150,000 in the I&T sector.
– Strengthening Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre by expanding the Harbour Metropolis to include the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands under the Lantau Tomorrow Vision.
– Finance: enhance listing regime of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, expand offshore Renmenbi business, strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an international asset and management
centre and a risk management centre, develop green and sustainable finance sector and promote cross-border fintech.
– Innovation and Technology: provide more I&T land and infrastructure, promote research and development, support I&T enterprises and expand the talent pool; support re-industrialisation
and research and collaboration among universities to develop I&T at full steam; actively participate in the development of an international I&T hub in the GBA.
– Aviation: take forward Airport City development and endeavour to enhance aviation industry co-operation with Zhuhai; target to commission the new Third Runway in 2022 and complete
the whole Three-runway System in 2024 to meet the air traffic demand in the long run; high-end logistics projects at the Hong Kong International Airport are proceeding at full speed.
– Transportation: develop a “Smart Port”, attract high value-added logistics and maritime businesses.
– Trade: develop the Commercial Data Interchange to enable SMEs to gain access to more convenient financing services.
– IP Trading: promote and develop “original grant patent” system; revive Copyright Ordinance amendment exercise to strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment.
– Legal: attract international legal and dispute resolution institutions to set up offices in the Hong Kong Legal Hub.
– International Cultural Exchange: West Kowloon Cultural District (M+ museum opened in November 2021; Hong Kong Palace Museum expected to open in July 2022; Lyric Theatre
Complex scheduled to be completed after 2024; Art Park for leisure activities); East Kowloon Cultural Centre, a major venue and incubator for arts technology, to open in phases in 2023;
Kai Tak Sports Park, to be commissioned in 2023, featuring a 50,000-capacity Main Stadium and 10,000-seat Indoor Sports Centre will be a new venue for mega sports and cultural events.
– Convention and Exhibition (C&E): expansion of C&E facilities including redeveloping the sites
of the three government towers in Wan Chai North and the Kong Wan Fire Station into C&E facilities, hotel and Grade A offices, as well as expanding the AsiaWorld-Expo, in order to consolidate and enhance Hong Kong’s status as an international C&E hub.
– Carbon Neutral before 2050: Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050, published in October 2021, sets out the strategies and targets for combating climate change and achieving carbon neutrality.
– Waterfront promenades being upgraded: three new promenades in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay to be opened progressively from end-2021; the promenade along the Victoria Harbour to be further extended to 25 kilometres by end-2021; first promenade at former Kai Tak runway to be completed in 2022.
– Implementation of Ocean Park future strategy: following the official opening of the Water World at Ocean Park, the Ocean Park Corporation is identifying partners for the development of new themes zones at the Park. Technical studies on proposed pier projects at Deep Water Bay and Tai Shue Wan will also commence in 2022.
– Public and private housing developments: a total of 350 hectares of land identified to produce about 330,000 public housing units in the 10-year period ending 2031-32; plans to secure 170 hectares of land in the coming 10 years, through land sales or by putting up railway property developments for tender, to provide about 100,000 private housing units.
Global Recognition and Benchmarks
– World’s freest economy (Economic Freedom of the World 2021 Annual Report, Fraser Institute)
– World No.3 global financial centre (Global Financial Centres Index, September 2021, Z/Yen and China Development Institute)
– Asia No.1 and World No.2 for digital competitiveness (World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2021, International Institute for Management Development)
– World No.1 enterprise conditions for six consecutive years (Legatum Prosperity Index 2021, Legatum Institute)
– World No.3 preferred seat for arbitration worldwide (2021 International Arbitration Survey, Queen Mary University of London)
– World No.8 safest city (Safe Cities Index 2021, The Economist Intelligence Unit)
– World No.5 for order and security (Rule of Law Index 2021, World Justice Project)
– The 100-kilometre MacLehose Trail listed on National Geographic’s World’s Best Hikes: 20 Dream Trails
– Sai Kung in the New Territories rated World No.9 “Coolest Neighbourhood” (Time Out magazine