Hong Kong still gateway for foreign investment into China

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Hong Kong has long been and still is a gateway for foreign investment into China, despite of more recent opening up on the Chinese mainland, U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong Stephen Young said here on Friday.

As China's economic growth has accelerated in recent years, concerns that Hong Kong might over time become less important economically have been raised, said Young, taking the position since March, 2010, who himself felt that "the longer I work here, the less concerned I am of this danger".

Data showed that last year almost two-thirds of the 105.7 billion U.S. dollars' foreign direct investment in China was conducted through Hong Kong, while over half of the 59 billion dollars' investment from China in overseas markets was channeled through this international financial hub.

Hong Kong has long been closely connected to the mainland's economy, with whom a symbiotic relationship has developed in recent years, said Young while addressing the American Chamber of Commerce in a luncheon speech.

According to the senior diplomat, this relationship has been demonstrated by the prominent role the central government has assigned to Hong Kong in the 12th Five Year Plan, China's development blueprint for the years from 2011-2015, on critical issues as the RMB offshore market and Pearl River Delta development.

"The unique role Hong Kong is playing in the internationalization of the RMB through trade settlement, bank transactions, and investment" is a fascinating new development for the city, said Young.

At the end of 2010, RMB deposits in Hong Kong reached 314 billion yuan (48.38 billion U.S. dollars), up over 400 percent compared to that of 2009.

Besides, Hong Kong's role in the integration of the Pearl River Delta, one of the most dynamic regions in China, is also significant, which U.S. firms in Hong Kong could take advantage, said Young.

As Hong Kong and the mainland continues to build stronger, more extensive ties, "U.S. firms in Hong Kong should be well-positioned to play a role in promoting cross-border services, education, and trade," he said. (1 U.S. dollar is equivalent to 6.49 yuan)

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