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Hong Kong's business environment remains one of world's best: experts

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HONG KONG, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) — With the release of Hong Kong’s first business environment report on Monday since its return to the motherland, experts and business elites pointed out that with the economy back on track, the business environment of the global financial hub remains one of the best in the world.

The “Report on Hong Kong’s Business Environment: A Place with Unique Advantages and Unlimited Opportunities” was published by China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Monday.

Hong Kong has retained its sound business environment and unique advantages under “one country, two systems,” and the financial hub is still attractive to businesses and investors around the world, the report said, citing an array of full and accurate figures and facts over the past years.

The report responds to concerns from the outside, E Zhihuan, chief economist of the Bank of China (Hong Kong), said.

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“Stability and order have been restored since the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong, which provides guarantees for both capital and personal safety of investors, eliminating the biggest uncertainty in business operations,” he said.

In the 12-month period ending June 2021, funds raised through initial public offerings (IPOs) increased by more than 50 percent year on year, and the turnover of the stock market was up by nearly 70 percent. The asset and wealth management business in Hong Kong grew by about 20 percent. Hong Kong’s international bond issuance also ranked first in Asia, the report said.

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The data, including surging IPO funds, proved that investors and businessmen have cast their vote of confidence to Hong Kong, Guo Wanda, executive vice president of the China Development Institute, a think tank, said.

“Hong Kong still has the best foundations for business,” Wilhelm Brauner, chairman of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong & Macao, said in a recent interview.

Brauner said that Hong Kong, as a free port, still has many advantages including the rule of law, openness and a spirit of capability, and these privileges “are still very much alive and will continue.”

Echoing his words, Peter Burnett, chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said that Hong Kong is a great place to do international business as it plays as a connector between the mainland and the world. “It (Hong Kong’s unique role) is enhanced and preserved by ‘one country, two systems,'” he said.

Burnett noted that members of the British commerce chamber have been deeply vested in Hong Kong for a long time, covering a wide range of businesses from retail to financial services and aviation.

“In Hong Kong, people come and go. But they come and go in the natural course of business activity. I can’t see any of our members really pulling out or relocating. They are still very strongly committed to Hong Kong,” Burnett said.

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Experts also dismissed the so-called sanctions imposed by the United States against Hong Kong and its interference in Hong Kong affairs.

The U.S. policies towards Hong Kong are no longer serving the interest of its own people and enterprises, Li Haidong, professor of the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, said.

The fact that many American enterprises have chosen to stay in Hong Kong indicates that the U.S. policies are incorrect and unacceptable, even to U.S. enterprises, Li added.

Liang Haiming, president of China Silk Road iValley Research Institute and an economist in Hong Kong, said that the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong and the improvement to Hong Kong’s electoral system have created a more stable environment for Hong Kong to start again.

As Hong Kong’s business environment is becoming more favorable, international investors have greatly sped up their investment in Hong Kong, as great reward is expected, he explained.

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