‘The worst is behind us’: Hong Kong hosts top bankers for finance summit

Hong Kong
CNN Business enterprise

Hong Kong leader John Lee sought to drum up confidence in the city’s long term as a world wide monetary hub on Wednesday, as he welcomed some of Wall Street’s major executives to its biggest global function in years.

Speaking at an investment summit that has captivated additional than 200 members from 20 international locations, the city’s chief executive mentioned that it was “opening as soon as again” for global company after a lot more than two and a fifty percent decades of arduous pandemic restrictions.

As he dealt with some of the executives in attendance, such as Goldman Sachs

CEO David Solomon, Morgan Stanley

CEO James Gorman, UBS

chairman Colm Kelleher, HSBC

CEO Noel Quinn and Conventional Chartered

CEO Invoice Winters, the authorities chief was insistent in reaffirming his intention to continue to keep the former British colony competitive for global finance.

“We were, we are and we will continue to be one particular of the world’s top economical centers,” Lee vowed. “You can acquire that to the lender.”

Lee also sought to reassure executives that Hong Kong would preserve a unique job to that of mainland China, saying that central government officers experienced outlined their assistance for the town retaining its exceptional situation as a gateway in between East and West.

China’s latest 5-year system features aims to enhance the city’s role as an intercontinental trade, financial, shipping and aviation center, Lee claimed. “The worst is powering us.”

Solomon, Gorman and Kelleher, who took to the stage for a panel shortly right after Lee’s remarks, did not remark specifically on the city’s reopening. But Kelleher pointed out that “whilst we’re all very professional-China,” the financial institution was “waiting for zero-Covid to open up in China and see what will take place.”

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon speaking in Hong Kong on Wednesday. (Kevin Broad/CNN)

In September, Hong Kong lifted quarantine specifications that experienced largely isolated the town, choked economic activity, and fueled a historic brain drain. Mainland China, however, however has a mandate in location for most inbound travelers to self-isolate for at minimum 7 days, underneath its stringent “zero-Covid plan.”

That contrast was highlighted Wednesday as mainland Chinese officers — such as People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang — resolved the convention in pre-recorded online video remarks, fairly than attending in individual.

Hong Kong’s financial system is greatly reliant on economical services. In 2020, the sector contributed $76 billion — around 23{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} of its GDP, Lee said.

In an job interview with CNN Business, DBS Hong Kong CEO Sebastian Paredes referred to as the present of assistance from the city’s leading brass “a tangible demonstration that Hong Kong is back.”

“The men and women that have flown into Hong Kong — the world-wide CEOs of insurance coverage firms and private fairness businesses and banking institutions and the rest — display that Hong Kong is a pretty crucial global fiscal centre,” he claimed.

“We’ve been shut for as well extended,” he extra, noting that some constraints continue to be, like controls on the border with mainland China. “But as we development, at least we are opening internationally,” mentioned Paredes. “We are hopeful.”

Christopher Lewis

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