Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

As friend and partner, Singapore welcomes Hong Kong’s moves to reopen

As friend and partner, Singapore welcomes Hong Kong’s moves to reopen

Narratives that put the cities in competition with one another overlook the positive-sum gains from close cooperation. Both Hong Kong and Singapore have unique traits that make them valuable to Asia’s economy, which can easily accommodate two business hubs.

Since assuming office, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu and his administration have successfully steered Hong Kong around an anticipated sixth wave of Covid-19 infections, with hospital services well-maintained, and caseloads kept under control.

Due credit should be given to the Hong Kong people, who have shown patience, discipline and cooperation with the government’s anti-epidemic measures. Hong Kong’s resilience has inspired enough confidence for the government to relax quarantine measures and social distancing restrictions, and to hope for some form of reopening with the mainland.

These positive trends have greatly lifted spirits in Hong Kong, and renewed hopes that Hong Kong will return to normality soon. More than that, these moves underscore the high degree of autonomy and strong governance vital to Hong Kong’s success.

Meanwhile, there is an ongoing media narrative about Hong Kong’s rivalry with Singapore. Such a narrative leans towards a zero-sum perspective, with commentators cautioning that the outflow of talent and capital to Singapore is damaging to Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre. Some warn that Singapore has been the “winner” and Hong Kong the “loser” through the pandemic in the competition to be Asia’s premier hub.

Such stark views are wide of the mark and overlook the positive-sum gains from close cooperation between the two Asian cities. And while there might be short-term variations in the two cities’ positions in global rankings, one should take a long-term view.

Both Hong Kong and Singapore have distinct advantages that benefit each while supporting the rapidly growing and vibrant Asian economy, which is large enough to accommodate two or even more international business hubs.

The long-term fundamentals that underpin Hong Kong’s success remain unchanged. It remains the most open and cosmopolitan business hub in China, and a key node for the Greater Bay Area and the mainland. In July, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed Hong Kong’s irreplaceable role in China’s development strategy.

He also gave assurance that Hong Kong would maintain its unique status and advantages, including its common law system and the free flow of capital. Under “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong enjoys the advantage of having the second-largest economy in the world as its hinterland, while maintaining its own separate capitalist system that encourages free enterprise and fosters a spirit of entrepreneurship.

Looking ahead, Hong Kong is well-positioned to benefit from the vast opportunities made available by China’s growth, particularly in the Greater Bay Area. Boasting a population of 87 million and GDP of US$1.7 trillion, the area comprising Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau is one of the most dynamic regions in the world, and has the potential to become an international hub for innovation, scientific research and technology.

Likewise, Singapore has its own distinct circumstances and strengths. Our strategic location has allowed us to serve as a key business hub in Asia and tap into Southeast Asia’s dynamic growth. We are culturally familiar and have strong economic ties with the region, including through a dense network of free trade agreements and double tax agreements with major economies.

The Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region has a population of 660 million. It has a young and driven workforce, and its growing middle class will reach 51 per cent of the total population, or some 340 million, by 2030.

Asean also enjoys strong economic links with mainland China, and sits at the centre of an evolving regional economic architecture. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) promises to be the largest FTA in the world, covering 30 per cent of the global population, trade, and GDP. Aware of Asean’s value as a partner, Hong Kong established a free-trade agreement with Asean in 2017, and hopes to join the RCEP in 2023.

Singapore and Hong Kong are partners. Each side benefits most when the other is also prospering. Our similarities motivate us to draw inspiration from each other in various public policy areas, such as housing, transport, and civil service reforms.

Healthy competition between us drives us to do even better for our people, and contributes to a more vibrant and dynamic region. In my meetings with members of the Hong Kong SAR government, I have been glad to see that this view is widely shared.

Singapore fully welcomes Hong Kong’s efforts to reopen. Hong Kong is home to the largest overseas Singaporean community in any single city. Singapore also enjoys strong economic ties with Hong Kong in trade, investment and tourism, and our businesses stand to benefit from the resumption of people-to-people exchanges.

In fact, the air route between Singapore and Hong Kong was among the busiest in the world before Covid-19. We look forward to the further resumption of air travel, as the restoration of bilateral flight connectivity would further enhance Singapore and Hong Kong’s reputations as the premier aviation hubs of our respective regions.

As small and open economies, Singapore and Hong Kong, with their industrious and enterprising workforce, have done well despite a lack of natural resources. At the heart of our success is the can-do spirit of our driven and resourceful people, who understand full well that survival depends on our ability to add value and remain relevant to the economies around us.

Amid global economic headwinds, geopolitical tensions and rising tides against globalisation, our two cities must help each other navigate the uncertainties ahead.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.