Date
28 May 2017
Hong Kong must help its small and medium-sized firms capture opportunities thrown up by China's new strategic development plan, says CY Leung. Photo: Bloomberg
Hong Kong must help its small and medium-sized firms capture opportunities thrown up by China's new strategic development plan, says CY Leung. Photo: Bloomberg

Leung mulls SME support in ‘One Belt, One Road’ pursuit

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is mulling plans to set up a new organization that will help Hong Kong firms pursue opportunities under China’s “One Belt, One Road” development plan.

In an interview to Xinhua news agency, Leung said Hong Kong needs to step up its act as rivals such as Singapore and South Korea are putting in lots of money and efforts to support their industries.

Apart from big business tycoons like Li Ka-shing, a lot of local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have done very well outside Hong Kong, and there is a need to further support their overseas expansion, Leung said in the interview.

Although he didn’t specify the kind of support and the industries that will benefit, Leung did mention names like Trade Development Council and the Tourism Board, implying that exporters and tourism industry could be among those that may get initial attention.

The plans for a new organization are still very much at an early stage, and authorities could just set up a new division within an existing department, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported, cited sources from within the government.

The first thing Hong Kong should do is to identify the best prospects among the 60-plus counties along the ‘One Belt, One Road” routes, Leung said in his Xinhua interview. Next, the focus should be on what kind of businesses to invest in, he said.

Hong Kong’s key role lies in connecting the world with China by helping the mainland attract foreign capital, technology and talents, Leung said.

In other comments, Leung said the government has decided to set up another office for the ASEAN region.

Financial Secretary John Tsang is scheduled to lead a business consortium to some European countries, including Poland and Hungary, in September.

Leung said he will also make some overseas trips to promote Hong Kong’s role in China’s “One Belt, One Road” strategy.

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RC

EJ Insight writer

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