71. Comprehensive and superb financial services are crucial for an economy gearing for high-quality development. The value added of the financial services industry in Hong Kong accounted for 21 per cent of the GDP in 2019. Its share of the overall employment increased from 6.8 per cent in 2018 to 7.1 per cent in 2019. Hong Kong has always been an offshore financing centre for Mainland enterprises and an important conduit for international capital to enter the Mainland market. The capital markets of Hong Kong and the Mainland can complement and interact positively with each other.
72. Last year's total transaction value of the Southbound and Northbound Trading of Stock Connect programmes more than doubled that of the year before. The mutual market access programmes have been operating smoothly. Hong Kong can contribute more proactively to our country's "dual circulation" strategy. The FSTB, together with the HKMA, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Insurance Authority (IA), has set up a joint working group to explore how Hong Kong can complement the economic and financial development of our country and meet the needs of international investors, and examine how to further enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international financial centre on the basis of our existing capacities. It will set out the development blueprint and put forward concrete proposals and measures for engagement with the Central Authorities to secure their support.
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