Hong Kong is losing its attractiveness to its overseas rivals and should find new ways to develop other opportunities, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.
Alexa Lam, deputy chief executive of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), issued the warning, saying Hong Kong’s importance as a gateway to China’s capital market is diminishing as the mainland continues to open up to the outside world.
She said Hong Kong should develop closer trade relations with emerging economies in Asia and Africa and position itself as a bridge to mainland China for these markets.
Hong Kong will face increased foreign competition as the mainland liberalizes its capital account, Lam said.
However, she is “cautiously optimistic” about the financial industry, saying Hong Kong could leverage its legal and tax advantages to bolster its role as a regional financial hub.
Meanwhile, the SFC is ramping up approvals for fund sales to attract more asset management companies, she said.
Lam is retiring when her contract expires on Feb. 28.
Julia Leung, former undersecretary for financial services and the treasury, has been tapped to replace Lam, who plans to return to teaching at the University of Hong Kong law school.
Translation by Vey Wong
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