[Explanation] Since the return, with the strong support of the motherland's economy, Hong Kong's social economy has still shown strong resilience after the Asian financial turmoil, the global economic crisis and the impact of the new crown epidemic.

The international competitiveness and global influence of Hong Kong's financial industry have not been affected by the long-term downturn of the global economy, but have achieved leapfrog development.

A few days ago, E Zhihuan, chief economist of BOC Hong Kong, said in an exclusive interview with China News Agency that Hong Kong, as an international financial center, still has a solid core competitiveness and development foundation.

  [Concurrent] E Zhihuan, Chief Economist of BOC Hong Kong

  The proportion of Hong Kong's total economic output in the world is basically stable.

Since 1997, 25 years after the return, the advantage of this trade position has been well maintained.

Just look at the export of goods in 1997, it accounted for 2.98% of the world, and then by 2020 this number has become 3.1%.

Then the import of goods has also increased, which means that our trade status has been maintained and has been improved.

It can be seen that Hong Kong is now the third largest in the world in terms of attracting foreign investment.

In addition, ODI (outward direct investment) is also ranked fourth in the world. In terms of these two figures, it should be a significant improvement compared with 1997. Therefore, it can be said that the trade status is stable and the investment status has also maintained an improvement.

  [Explanation] From studying the Hong Kong and Macau economy at the Bank of China Institute of International Finance in 1997 to now serving as the chief economist of Bank of China Hong Kong in Hong Kong, E Zhihuan has witnessed the evolution of Hong Kong's identity from a regional financial center to an international financial center since its return.

  [Concurrent] E Zhihuan, Chief Economist of BOC Hong Kong

  The connotation of this financial center is richer than in the past.

Then we used to focus on Hong Kong, and we mainly looked at the stock market, and then looked at the banking industry.

So now, what we see is the entire component of Hong Kong, an international financial center, which is really very colorful.

On the one hand, it is the financing function of the stock market, which has been greatly improved compared to that time. It has become a very important channel for mainland enterprises to go out and raise funds here. Investing in China (the platform) has become a very important channel for international capital to allocate Chinese assets, so it has changed from one-way to a two-way role.

  [Explanation] Looking back on the development process, E Zhihuan believes that the construction of Hong Kong's financial center has two pillars: one is the continuous strengthening of economic and trade ties between the mainland and Hong Kong; the other is Hong Kong's good business environment, simple and low tax system, free capital, and It has institutional advantages such as the judicial system in line with Western standards, efficient financial supervision, and the freest economy.

  [Concurrent] E Zhihuan, Chief Economist of BOC Hong Kong

  The first pillar is the close economic and trade ties between Hong Kong and the mainland.

Hong Kong is a very important base for mainland enterprises to go out, and at the same time, it is an important market for our foreign trade re-exports, and it is also a configuration platform for capital inflows and outflows. This aspect provides Hong Kong's financial center with a steady stream of living water. .

The second pillar is Hong Kong's own advantages, which is that as a free port of capital, it has no capital restrictions at all.

At the same time, Hong Kong's business environment has always maintained a leading position in the world.

  [Explanation] The functional positioning of an international financial center is an important entry point for Hong Kong to integrate into national development, and it is also the greatest manifestation of Hong Kong's value to national development.

E Zhihuan said that during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, China's financial industry has entered a new era led by opening up, and Hong Kong has become the main channel for the mainland's financial market to connect with the outside world, providing a variety of options for interconnection.

  [Concurrent] E Zhihuan, Chief Economist of BOC Hong Kong

  In the past few years, the country has also continuously increased its ties and exchanges with the financial market in Hong Kong. We have seen market connectivity in recent years, including the "Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect", "Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect", and "Bond Connect". "Bond Connect" includes "Southbound" and "Northbound".

The interconnection of such markets has also provided Hong Kong's financial market with new liquidity, new business opportunities, and a great driving force.

Then there is the development of the offshore renminbi. We look at the development of the offshore renminbi market, not just how much business a financial institution can get. I think its more important significance is that it adds a currency advantage to Hong Kong, an international financial center.

  [Explanation] After 25 years of hardships and hardships, with the full support of the central government and the joint efforts of the Hong Kong society, the connotation of Hong Kong's financial center has become more abundant, and its status and core competitive advantages have become more stable.

The tide is flat and the shore is broad, and the wind is strong and the sail is hanging. At the new historical node, the "Pearl of the Orient" will give full play to its advantages and open a new chapter in the social economy.

  Reporter Fan Siyi, Luo Siyu and Luo Qianqian report from Hong Kong

Responsible editor: [Luo Pan]

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