Monday, February 24, 2020
Martin Hennecke

HK core assets defy unrest, Chan tells summit
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po yesterday said at the Belt and Road Summit that recent unrest had not affected Hong Kong's core competitiveness, including the rule of law, free flow of capital, goods information and freedom of expression, as well as the low and simple tax system. Cheah Cheng Hye, co-chairman and co-chief investment officer of Value Partners (0806), also said Hong Kong's importance should not be ignored during times of trouble and there is an opportunity for the city to enhance social and economic reforms. He said 40 percent of the offshore yuan trade lies in the local market, representing more potential than before. Li Xiaopeng, chairman of China Everbright Group, the parent company of China Everbright (0165), said the company's waste-to-energy project in Vietnam transfers 400 tonnes of rubbish a day, and he expects the environment energy sector to be a focus of the Belt and Road scheme. Meanwhile, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation revealed it is targeting US$100 billion (HK$780 billion) in sustainable financing and investment by 2025, said Mukhtar Hussain, head of Belt and Road Initiative and Business Corridors, Asia-Pacific, of HSBC. Elsewhere, a report by consultancy Silk Road Associates and law firm Baker McKenzie suggested the backlash to China's political and trade policies could shave as much as US$800 billion off investment in the Belt and Road Initiative.

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