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Seizing opportunities for co-operation

In the past few months, the relevant departments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, local financial institutions and the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited have been working closely with the Shanghai authorities to press ahead with the preparatory work for the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect so that its launch will go smoothly as planned. One of our major partners in this programme is the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE).


This afternoon, I hosted a luncheon for the visiting Chairman of the SSE, Mr Gui Minjie. Apart from expressing my gratitude for the SSE's staunch support in the preparatory work, I also took the opportunity to exchange views with Mr Gui on financial co-operation between Hong Kong and Shanghai.

At the luncheon, I mentioned to Mr Gui the Symposium on Securities Markets held in Shanghai in 1992, which I had attended. Jointly organised by the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Hong Kong Society of Accountants (now known as the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants), the Symposium pooled together more than 300 representatives of financial institutions and tax, accounting and securities professionals from the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan to explore in depth co-operation among the securities industries of the three places.

At the Symposium, the then Vice-Minister of Finance, Mr Zhang Youcai, said that the Mainland could learn from Hong Kong's experience in the development of stock trading and management. He also offered far-sighted analysis, pointing out that the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan would have greater access to each other's stock markets, and that the three places could learn from each other, complement each other's strengths and explore opportunities for co-operation.

In the ensuing 20 years, financial co-operation between the Mainland and Hong Kong has continued to intensify. In this new era, the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect comes as a co-operation programme of epochal and strategic significance, as well as a landmark in deepening co-operation between the two places.

To promote co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland in finance, trade and other areas, we must seize every opportunity, participate actively and strive to move forward continuously. The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect is just one example. During the country's reform and opening-up process, Hong Kong has always been a participant, not an onlooker. We can facilitate and contribute to the development of our country while seeking more and better development opportunities for all sectors in Hong Kong.

August 13, 2014