Date
26 September 2017
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) and Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou hold a historic meeting in Singapore on Nov. 7. Photo: Bloomberg
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) and Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou hold a historic meeting in Singapore on Nov. 7. Photo: Bloomberg

Xi-Ma meeting heralds business opportunities for Hong Kong

Taiwan’s stock market rose after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou met in November, highlighting the island’s positive attitude toward deeper cooperation with the mainland.

A noteworthy point is that Hong Kong showed overwhelming support for the meeting. It’s a city of business.

Experts said the meeting will not only promote stronger economic ties but also encourage the two sides to join hands in regional economic integration.

China’s long-term positive outlook remains unchanged and Taiwan can utilize the mainland’s factories, huge market size and broad international trading connections to expand its business.

Service and manufacturing industries now account for 68 percent and 30 percent, respectively, of Taiwan’s economy, according to reports.

But its GDP growth continues to rely heavily on exports.

The slowing global economy is hurting Taiwan’s exports and the rejection of a cross-straits trade services agreement directly impacts on the development of Taiwan’s service industry and, indirectly, its GDP growth.

The meeting in Singapore is expected to accelerate negotiations for a service agreement between the two sides.

Cooperation in the financial field used to be mainly one way, from Taiwan to mainland China. In the future, Taiwan may allow Chinese companies to invest in Taiwan. Two-way investment channels are likely to be built soon.

Hong Kong, as an international financial hub, can benefit from Taiwan’s increasing use of the renminbi in its trade with the mainland.

Taiwan has advantages in manufacturing and high technology. Taiwan and Hong Kong can learn from each other.

In terms of tourism, Taiwan is more competitive than the mainland.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong can be a good platform for Taiwan to participate in regional integration initiatives such as the One Belt, One Road initiative and build tighter links with the mainland.

Thus, cooperation among China, Taiwan and Hong Kong will be strengthened.

Small businesses can take advantage of market-oriented and efficient cooperation arrangements to achieve win-win goals.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 26.

Translation by Myssie You

[Chinese version中文版]

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MY/DY/CG

Permanent Honorary Chairman of Hong Kong Federation of Fujian Associations

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