Victor Fung urge rethink in inward-looking model
Hong Kong should look outwards rather than inwards, developing itself as the bridge between Greater Bay area and Asia Pacific neighbors, tycoon Victor Fung Kwok-king said.
It is unfortunate that Hong Kong focused too much on the mainland and domestic market in the past two decades, said Fung whose think tank 2022 Foundation published a report advising on Hong Kong’s opportunities for growth today.
“With the national security law stabilizing the city, the next question we ask is what Hong Kong can do,” he said in a media gathering, adding it is important to seize the chance from a narrow window of opportunity.
“While it is important to get to know our country, we must also know about the whole world... especially ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries,” he said.
The group chairman of trading company Li & Fung highlighted the The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free trade agreement signed last November between China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, as well as 10 ASEAN members.
“The signing has a big impact on Hong Kong... it marks the starting point of revamping the order of World Trade Organization,” he said.
Fung said the city should put more emphasis on trade finance - financing small and medium enterprises in trading.
Another area with big potential is air transport, due to consumers’ increasing expectation for products they purchase online to arrive on their doorstep quickly.
Although Shenzhen is catching up with its airports, HK has the intrinsic advantage of having its own airspace which it does not have to compete with other mainland cities.
It has also built strong connections with overseas airports, Fung said.
The report also calls for HK to develop midstream high tech industries, focusing on making prototypes of new inventions before their mass production on the mainland.
“We are not talking about large scale factories but small ones which are high tech driven,” he said.
With the ongoing Sino-US trade war and political tensions, Fung said it is an opportunity for Hong Kong.
Factories are moving from one country to another due to changing regulations and the pandemic, which makes operators’ ability and speed in making changes all the more important, he said.
Asked about some talents leaving Hong Kong amid the political turmoil, Fung said it is a cycle. “Some leave and some join,” he said.