China asked Hong Kong’s foreign chamber of commerce a few weeks before new leader John Lee Ka-chiu took office how to revive the economy of an isolated financial hub in an unprecedented listening session.
People said the Beijing-based liaison office, which oversees Hong Kong, sent an invitation to the city’s chief of business in early June to solicit views on operational issues in Hong Kong and mainland China.
They said the Chamber of Commerce responded with one top-priority message: Complete the quarantine as soon as possible.
Representatives of various chambers of commerce show that the conference is a major change from the previous exchanges spoken by officials through interpreters, and the Chinese side is really interested in understanding the problems of foreign companies. He said it seems to be showing.
Mainland officials in attendance listened primarily, other staff took notes, and people said it was unclear whether Beijing would act on any of the proposals.
One person who attended a meeting said it was conducted in English and lasted 90 minutes and included Mr. Wang Danfeng, a key member of the economic sector.
According to an email from Bloomberg News, the invitation contains five questions, one of which is a “suggestion” or “advice” on how the Hong Kong government can improve the local business environment, and the other is mainland China. It was focused on the business in Hong Kong.
The liaison office did not respond to requests for comment.
A listening campaign took place a few weeks before Lee took office on July 1, reflecting China’s growing concern over poor economic data on both sides of the border.
Lee inherits the financial hub of the past Internationally isolated because Hong Kong cannot open its doors to the world, Partly because of the pressure from the mainland to keep President Xi Jinping’s strict Zero-Covid
policy on the mainland.
Hong Kong’s economy shrank by 4 percent in the first quarter, one of the worst performances in the last 30 years, and expatriate talent is abundant in places like Singapore.
China’s strict Zero-Covid
policy, which adopted mass test drives and blockades, also punished the mainland economy.