For Immediate Release PRESS RELEASE China Daily Gathers Experts to examine China’s 14th Five-Year Plan and the Role of Hong Kong HONG KONG, April 21, 2021 – Organized by China Daily, a discussion titled “China’s 14th Five-Year Plan and the Role of Hong Kong” was held virtually on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Some 200 industry gurus, business leaders, academics and media representatives joined the event online. The outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 was adopted at the annual session of China’s top legislature on March 11. With the COVID- 19 crisis still sweeping the globe, economic uncertainty is surrounding almost every industry and sector. How will the 14th FYP support Hong Kong to retain its status as an international financial center and the development of other key sectors in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area? Is there any strategy to help the special administrative region withstand economic slump and foster its own development? To better interpret the 14th Five-Year Plan, Asia Leadership Roundtable invited Dr. DJ Clark, Multimedia Director, China Daily Asia Pacific, to chair the panel and to exchange insights with prominent speakers Dr. Guo Wanda, Executive Vice President, China Development Institute; Dr. Li Shan, CEO, Silk Road Finance Corporation Limited; and Dr. Edward Tse, Founder and CEO, Gao Feng Advisory Company. Guo Wanda said the role of Hong Kong in the international landscape had been manifested in national plans as early as a decade ago. Beside reiterating the roles that the SAR has been playing, the latest FYP also bestows it with some new functions and statuses. Among them are risk management center, international innovation and technology hub, regional intellectual property trading center, and center for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, all of which speak volumes about Hong Kong's unique functions and advantages in technology and legal system. ‘Dual circulation' emphasized in the 14th Five-Year Plan is a relevant strategy, and Hong Kong plays a critical role in this aspect – which is to leverage its function as a super connector in the Greater Bay Area, he said. “The circulation in question refers to the two-way integration between the Chinese mainland and the international world, which involves a lot of work including the transition of varied laws, regulations and standards. Here's when Hong Kong can come in. Hong Kong is well-placed to allocate resources in finance, technology and trade, and to provide support for uniform standards in data use, laws and innovation benchmarks as well as in the supply chain,” he said. Li Shan said that with the economic rise of the Chinese mainland, complete with the country's ambitious five-year plan and initiatives of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road, Hong Kong has an unprecedented opportunity to continue to maintain its prosperity. “There're new challenges and new opportunities for Hong Kong. In the new era of industrial revolution, which is considerably based on data with the emergence of innovative technology and artificial intelligence, Hong Kong can and should not only be the international financial center in traditional term, but also the data hub of Asia. The new role of data hub can be harnessed to develop new businesses and e-governance in Hong Kong, supported by advanced technologies,” he said. He emphasized that between Shenzhen and Hong Kong is anything but competition. Shenzhen is playing a supporting role for Hong Kong to consolidate its footing in the international financial scene. Hong Kong possesses the legal system, which is clearly maintaining an international standard and the key infrastructure to develop new business models, smart city, e-governance and data-based economy, he said. “This five-year plan enables Hong Kong to earn itself the role of center in multiple senses, including innovation, traditional finance and trade.” Edward Tse pointed out three highlights of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan – institutional innovation, technological innovation, and dual-circulation. China has entered a new era of tech-enabled innovations and the Greater Bay Area initiative will play a key role in regional economic transformation, he said. Innovations and new ideas during the pandemic are going to continue into the post-pandemic times, embedding in people’s lifestyle and companies’ operation, according to him. He pointed out three trends that businesses can take advantage of. First, technologies integrated with mobility, such as smart and autonomous driving and new energy vehicles, will benefit from a tremendous demand. Hong Kong can and should take part in this and integrate more with the Chinese mainland – Southern China in particular – to establish an eco-mobility system. Second, integration between big health and technology will witness a robust development such as digital healthcare consulting and long-distance healthcare services. Hong Kong has a solid background in the high-quality health services while lacking the technology capacities in this regard. Thus, the city will benefit significantly from cooperation to promote the technologies with mainland or foreign companies within the Greater Bay Area. Third, fintech such as digital currency is forecast to grow rapidly to facilitate financial services where Hong Kong, being a global financial center, has an advantage and a bigger role to play. About China Daily Founded in 1981, China Daily covers over 300 million readers and users worldwide through diversified platforms, including newspapers, websites, and mobiles and social media. The number of China Daily’s followers has now reached 59 million on Weibo, 11 million on the WeChat Blog platform, 100 million on Facebook and another 4.35 million on Twitter. About China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable The China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable is a by-invitation network of movers and shakers in Asia, providing platforms for focused dialogue, issue investigation and possible collective action on strategic issues relating to Asia’s economic, business and social development. Our aim is to enhance communication and increase mutual understanding between China, Asian and Western countries. Roundtable events are held in major cities across Asia.