AmCham HK Astutely Assessed China’s Next Round of Reforms

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong assembled more than 20 experienced senior executives and other experts today to assess “Hong Kong’s Role in China’s Next Round of Reforms” at its annual China Conference, held at the Four Seasons Hotel.

“Hong Kong will continue to play a key and unique role in facilitating the next round of reforms in China,” says AmCham Chairman James Sun. “At the same time, we are seeing more vigorous Chinese investment overseas, including the United States. Hong Kong has an important role to play in that process.”

Conference participants, who interacted throughout the day with Q&A from the audience of 200, considered the prospects for success of China’s new leadership and its continued commitment to implement the policy goals outlined in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

“As a gateway into and a springboard out of China, with its strong and international economy and service sector expertise, Hong Kong will act as both a model and a player in Mainland’s reforms, particularly in service industry sectors,” says Sun. “Hong Kong’s challenge is to continue offering the world’s best professional support to businesses, and to maintain its long-standing, world-class standards, such as the rule of law, transparency, and the free flow of information.”

Financial Services Development Council Chairman Laura Cha, gave the opening keynote address at the Conference. She shared personal perspectives on Hong Kong’s role in China’s financial market reform.

“Hong Kong’s success has always been based on our ability to leverage our close ties with and knowledge of mainland China, with the desire of global players and investors to access the huge and fast developing, yet not quite open, Chinese economy,” she said.

“The two elements of our strength have always been the China factor, and the international factor, which are complimentary to each other. Having the China factor, but not the international factor, would make us just another city of China. Having the international factor, without the China factor, would make us just another city in Asia.”

“I wish to emphasize that it is important for us not only to capture the opportunities in the coming reform and liberalization of the Chinese market, but also to maintain and reinforce our strength in the rule of law and clean government. In the end, it is the soft power that would give comfort to investors and attract them to our market.”

Francisco J. Sánchez, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce, International Trade Administration, focused on the critical roles that Hong Kong plays in the U.S.-China commercial relationship, and its importance as a gateway for trade and investment in the region.

“The United States is open for business and welcomes investment. We are working with current and potential foreign investors every single day to help them explore investment opportunities in the United States. And obviously the Asia Pacific region as a source of great possibility for this effort. And Hong Kong is a key to unlocking this potential, both as a leading commercial and financial center, but also as the gateway for China’s overseas investments that flow from Hong Kong,” he said.

“What I would like to talk about is achieving the greater economic integration between Hong Kong and China. Like so many, I appreciate that Hong Kong is a vital symbol of prosperity in Asia. US companies here enjoy the transparency, the good governance, and the rule of law that shapes the local economic climate. Our businesses are thriving here with more than 1,300 US-affiliated companies right here in Hong Kong. These American businesses are playing a role and helping shape a more competitive Hong Kong, which means a more competitive China, which means a more competitive Asia Pacific region. So the bottom line is that the United States supports a strong Hong Kong. We appreciate its unique status as an open hub economy. In so many ways it is poised for continued growth.”

Five panel discussions at the Conference focused on –

  • Managing in China's New Business Landscape 
  • China's War for Talent 
  • 2020 -- Hong Kong's “Best Before” Date? 
  • The Fast-changing Digital Markets in China 
  • Mainland China's Financial Reforms: the Implications for Hong Kong 

These panel speakers and moderators included: 

  • Tom Gorman, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, FORTUNE China (Moderator) 
  • David Cunningham, President of Asia Pacific Division, FedEx 
  • Michael J. Enright, Sun Hung Kai Professor, School of Business, University of Hong Kong 
  • Andrew Weir, Senior Partner, KPMG Hong Kong 
  • Seth Peterson, Principal, Industrial & Consumer Durables Practice, Heidrick & Struggles Hong Kong Ltd (Moderator) 
  • John Allison, Vice President, Human Resources, FedEx 
  • Kate Bravery, Regional Solutions Champion, Leadership & Talent Practice across Asia, Middle East and Africa, Mercer 
  • Bin Wolfe, Managing Partner of People, Asia Pacific, Ernst & Young 
  • Eden Woon, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, HKUST (Moderator) 
  • Jim Thompson, Chairman & Founder, Crown Worldwide Group 
  • Ronald Gould, Managing Director, Promontory Financial Group China 
  • Liu Mingkang, Ex-Chairman, CBRC/ Distinguished Research Fellow, CUHK 
  • Philip Leung, Managing Partner, Commence Technology Partners (Moderator) 
  • Sujith Abraham, Vice President – System Sales of Asia Pacific and Japan, Oracle 
  • Peter Koo, National Leader of Security, Privacy and Resilience of Greater China Region, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu 
  • Richard Ji, Ex-Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific Internet/Media Investment Research, Morgan Stanley 
  • Ewan Copeland, Vice Chairman, Global Corporate Bank, Citi (Moderator) 
  • Gao Yingxin, Executive Director and Deputy Chief Executive, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited 
  • Simon Ogus, CEO, DSG Asia Limited 
  • Lieven Debruyne, CEO, Regional Head of Distribution, Asia, Schroder Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited 
  • Mark Austen, CEO, Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association 

About 200 corporate executives and researchers from all sectors of industries attended the Conference, along with more than 40 media representatives.

In the intervening months before next year’s China Conference, AmCham HK plans to host a series of speaker events that will drill deeper into the topics raised in the China Conference.

About AmCham HK

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham HK) is one of the largest American Chambers outside the United States, the largest international chamber in Hong Kong, and one of the most dynamic and influential international business organizations in the Asia-Pacific region. The Chamber’s mission is to foster commerce among the United States, Hong Kong, and Mainland China; and to enhance Hong Kong’s stature as an international business center.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Mr. Dannio Chan
Government Relations Executive

Tel: +852-2530-6917
Fax: +852-2810-1289
Email: [email protected]