Former Hong Kong Finance Secretary Antony Leung Speaks about Hong Kong’s Future at CCG

The Year 2017 is the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s “return” to China. In view of this significant historical event, the Center for China and Globalization Think Tank (CCG) invited Mr. Antony Leung Kam-chung, CCG’s vice chairman and former Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to discuss Hong Kong’s future at the headquarters on March 16.

CCG Secretary General Miao Lu told the seminar that since the return of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to China in 1997, the economic and cultural exchanges between China’s mainland and Hong Kong have been maintaining a strong momentum. However, Hong Kong’s economic growth has slowed down in the recent years due to the global economic meltdown. CCG, as one of China’s leading international think tanks, is concerned about Hong Kong’s future and determined to contribute more ideas as solutions.

During his keynote speech at CCG, Liang pointed out that Hong Kong remains as a global financial center. He uses the acronym of VUCA (which states for unstable, ambiguous, complex, vague) to describe the future world, and identifies the key factors that he believes will shape the international situation.

He believes that Hong Kong, as the Special Administrative Region of China and the former British colony, opens a window for China to engage other countries through political, economic and cultural exchanges. In the past two decades, Hong Kong has been seen maintaining steady economic growth. However, the GDP is not quite an unreliable indicator, since it fails to show to the social issues that hinter Hong Kong people from enjoying their life, such as rising housing prices, widening gap between poor and rich and lack of system to allow young people to participate in politics. Leung suggested that the next government should focus the policies on promoting overall economic development – not just GDP growth but also the improvement of people’s livelihood.

As Leung introduced, Hong Kong is among the world’s top five cities with the most flow of people, logistics, service flow, capital flow and information, and have abundant land resource. Around 66% of land is covered by forests and green fields and can be used to build affordable houses provided to public. Once the housing problem is solved, Hong Kong can attract more talented people from all over the world to migrate there for science and technology research, innovation and entrepreneurship, among others. Leung also called for more effort to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as a global financial center. He also suggested that more young people are allowed and encouraged to participate in policy making to enhance their sense of belonging. To achieve this goal, he emphasized the importance of education to ensure young people can be focused on solution.

Leung concluded that the Year 1997 only marks the return of Hong Kong to China politically and economically, while more needs to be done to achieve the return of Hong Kong people’s heart to mainland China. He called on the new SAR government to formulate more concrete and necessary policies and strengthen the communications with general public to reduce political friction and improve people’s life.


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