FS begins US visit

May 29, 2024

Financial Secretary Paul Chan yesterday began a visit to the US, where he delivered a keynote speech at a business lunch and witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Invest Hong Kong and partners in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The lunch was co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in San Francisco and the Bay Area Council, a business organisation in San Francisco. Speaking to representatives from the local business and innovation sectors, Mr Chan briefed them on Hong Kong’s latest economic situation and development directions.

He emphasised the developmental advantages of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, including Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre and an international innovation and technology hub, as well as its super connector role in the bay area, which he said can present business opportunities for companies from Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

He highlighted that both bay areas have exceptional innovation capabilities, adding that Hong Kong boasts a broad and deep financing platform, comprehensive financial services, a thriving venture capital ecosystem, concentrations of top international research talent, and convergence of Mainland and international data. He said these qualities are highly attractive to innovative enterprises seeking to open up markets in the bay area and other parts of Mainland China and Asia.

Mr Chan also stressed that Hong Kong, under the “one country, two systems” principle, continues to practise the common law system, and allows the free flow of capital, talent, information and goods. He added that it maintains a low tax regime and linked exchange rate system, that the city’s law and order situation is robust, and that its business standards align with international benchmarks.

In the presence of Mr Chan and Bay Area Council China Initiative Committee Co-Chair Kevin Xu, Invest HK and the Bay Area Council signed an MOU to jointly promote investment exchanges between Hong Kong and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Earlier, the Financial Secretary met executives of five startups from the Hong Kong Science Park. These five companies are currently in Silicon Valley for exchange and training purposes, and for market expansion.

He also met Rahim Amidi, one of the founders of Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley startup accelerator. The five Hong Kong startups are receiving training in Silicon Valley with support from the accelerator, which is also planning to establish a branch in Hong Kong.

In the afternoon, Mr Chan visited an alternative asset management company, TPG, and met its Founder and Executive Chairman Jim Coulter to learn about its Hong Kong development plans.

On arriving in San Francisco on Monday, Mr Chan met Consul General of China in San Francisco Zhang Jianmin. They exchanged views on co-operation between the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as China-US relations and the latest developments in Hong Kong.

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