Business and Financial Industries
The financial sector has huge potential. It is the driving force for Hong Kong to move towards a knowledge-based and high value-added economy. The direct contribution of the financial sector to our economy in 2006 was more than 50 per cent higher than in 1997. The development of this industry has stimulated growth in many other industries, particularly professional services.
Our objective is to develop Hong
Kong's strength as an international financial centre. With the rapid development and reform of the
Mainland's financial services industry, there is ample room for cooperation between the financial sectors of Hong Kong and the Mainland.
TIME Magazine recently coined the term
"Nylonkong" to highlight the extent to which New York, London and Hong Kong have become models of globalisation, while at the same time
"lubricated the global economy". These three cities are situated in different time zones, but are closely linked by air flights and communication networks. This enables financial and business activities to be carried out on a 24-hour basis, forming a global commercial and financial network.
The Government will take measures to enhance the competitiveness of our commercial and financial sectors and to improve the regulatory regime. We will review the regulatory framework for the securities market to improve market quality and reduce compliance costs for the industry. For instance, we have launched a comprehensive rewrite of the Companies Ordinance with a view to developing a set of modernised company legislation. We will review the Trustee Ordinance in order to increase the competitiveness of our trust services industry.
The successful implementation of Basel II in Hong Kong last year enabled our banks to stay ahead in the quality of risk management. To tie in with the implementation of Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) arrangements by the Mainland, the Government and the regulatory bodies concerned will continue to liaise with the Mainland, improve market infrastructure, promote financial intermediary activities, encourage financial innovation and launch new financial products.
The Chief Executive has visited the Middle East recently and we are working hard to develop an Islamic financial platform in Hong Kong so as to tap a market with an estimated value of US$1,000 billion. Furthermore, in the past few months, we have led financial sector delegations to visit Vietnam and India. Last year, the Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. jointly issued a policy statement on the listing of overseas companies in Hong Kong so as to attract more overseas enterprises to list here. The Government will continue to monitor and promote the development of the local financial markets in collaboration with the financial regulators.