The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam presented the 2021 Policy Address (“The Policy”) on 6 October, which is the last one of her current-term Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s five-year tenure.
EY welcomes the initiatives proposed in the Policy for Hong Kong to seize the opportunities under the “14th Five-Year Plan”. The initiatives thrive to promote new economic impetus and improve people’s livelihood, which support Hong Kong to better integrate into the overall national development, steadfastly accelerate the growth of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), fostering the collaboration in economy, trade, and innovation and technology, and enhance the connectivity of financial markets in Hong Kong, Macau and the Mainland.
New paradigm for a new future
The proposed Northern Metropolis Development Strategy to develop the northern part of Hong Kong into a metropolitan area will further strengthen the connection between the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park and the Mainland cities. The construction of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Railway to link up Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen and Qianhai of Shenzhen will cater for the recently announced Qianhai Plan, which will underpin the pivotal role of Hong Kong and Shenzhen as the “dual engines” in the GBA to bring in more synergy.
“We are glad to see the forward-looking policies for Hong Kong’s integration into the Greater Bay Area, and exhibit more concrete initiatives to address housing issues. Only by expanding the scalability of development and increasing sharing of the economic pie can we create more opportunities in professional services, talent development, green finance, and adoption of innovation and technology for Hong Kong as well as other cities in the region,” says Agnes Chan, Managing Partner, Hong Kong and Macau, EY.
New impetus to the economy
It is worth noting that the 2021 Policy Address includes a relatively large coverage on housing and land policies during the Chief Executive’s tenure. This year, the Government proposes to extend several policies, especially financial policies, to further expand the channels for the two-way flow of cross-border RMB funds and develop offshore RMB products and tools, and to accelerate data connectivity in logistics in the GBA. By leveraging the support of policies, Hong Kong will enhance its competitiveness as the eight international centers or hubs charted in the 14th Five-Year Plan with a view to building a brighter future for society.
The HKSAR Government will also implement a series of initiatives to develop Hong Kong into a regional intellectual property (IP) trading center, that will bring tremendous opportunities and create a positive impact on the economy by:
- Building up the substantive examination capability of the Intellectual Property Department
- Exploring with the Mainland authorities on broadening the scope of application of the Patent Co-operation Treaty to cover the “original grant patent” system
- Reviving the Copyright Ordinance amendment exercise by consulting the public on the modernization of the copyright regime in light of the digital environment
As a global leader in assurance, tax, strategy, transaction and consulting services, EY will provide all-round professional support in the areas of Listing Regime Enhancement, Cross-boundary Investments, Family Office Business and Tax, Sustainable Financing and Product, and FinTech Application, to contribute to the business environment.
Foster the flow of talent within the GBA
The Policy advocated attracting non-local talent more proactively to enrich our talent pool, promote high-end economic development and seize the development opportunities as provided under the 14th Five-Year Plan and in the GBA.
EY is always committed to providing opportunities to our next generations to cultivate their global visions. In leveraging the EY network in the GBA, we can identify and nurture talent for the future development of the region.
Carbon reduction commitment and green development
Promoting green development and achieving carbon neutrality is a major global development direction after the pandemic. This year the Policy Address continues to mention sustainable development and integrates green development into the overall development blueprint for people’s livelihood, setting the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and strives to build Hong Kong into a more livable city.
The Government's green development initiative is consistent with EY's carbon neutral vision. In January 2020, EY became the first Big Four accounting firm to announce its plan to achieve carbon neutrality globally by the end of 2020. At the same time, we also announced the plan to achieve negative carbon emissions in 2021 and a net zero carbon emissions target by 2025. The EY Financial Services Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) team has been supporting green development throughout Greater China and is committed to advocating green finance and ESG.
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This press release has been issued by EY, China, a part of the global EY organization.