Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) chief has urged the city’s decision-makers to be proactive in facing up to the economic challenges in view of China’s slowdown and the uncertain global macro environment.
Geopolitical instability, volatility in the financial markets and a slide commodity prices are some of the challenges confronting the world economy, Vincent Lo Hong-sui said on Monday.
Hong Kong should play a big role in China’s “One Belt, One Road” strategy and serve as a bridge to ASEAN countries as the mainland promotes greater regional links, Lo said at the 9th Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong can help with standardized investment documentation and facilitation of contracts, the Hong Kong Economic Journal cited Lo as saying.
Speaking at the same forum, which is organized by the HKTDC, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said Hong Kong will not be immune to the impact of a lackluster global economy under the backdrop of an interest rate hike cycle in the United States and continued quantitative easing in Europe.
Hong Kong should strive to be the key funding center for projects related to China’s belt and road initiative, Leung said, adding that such effort can boost the competitiveness of the region, especially in the area of logistics and infrastructure.
HSBC Holdings (00005.HK) chief executive Stuart Gulliver told the forum that the slide in oil prices has undermined confidence in the global economy and that markets are fretting about deflationary pressures.
Gulliver expects crude price to be in the US$25 to US$40 a barrel range in the near term.
In other comments, he said the US central bank could raise its key rate two to three times this year and another two times next year, resulting in a 2-percent fed funds rate.
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