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Hong Kong's financial services development internationally acclaimed

Today, I met with the members of the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council and had lunch with them. The Chairman of the Council, the Honourable Mrs Laura Cha, and the convenors of the five committees under the Council reported to me on their work. The five committees are the Policy Research Committee, the Mainland Opportunities Committee, the New Business Committee, the Market Development Committee and the Human Capital Committee. I hereby thank the Chairman of the Council, the convenors of the committees and all members for their hard work in giving advice on the development of financial services in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's financial services sector employs 6 per cent of our workforce but accounts for 16 per cent of our GDP. Our financial and legal professions are internationally acclaimed. When I met with the President of the Republic of Korea, Ms Park Geun-hye, two days ago, she showed keen interest in the development of Hong Kong's financial and legal professions to the current scale and standard.

The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect was launched on November 17, starting a new chapter for Hong Kong's financial market. Apart from reinforcing Hong Kong's status as an information and knowledge centre specialising in the Mainland investment market, the Stock Connect also consolidates our position as the largest offshore Renminbi (RMB) business centre in the world. With our country's rapid economic development, Hong Kong can play a more important role as a super-connector to help foreign investors tap into the Mainland market, while facilitating the gradual liberalisation of the capital account of our country and the wider use of RMB as an investment currency.

Hong Kong's financial services sector is famous around the world. I hope that the Council will put forward more recommendations for us to work with the sector to benefit the whole community and create more opportunities for young people interested in financial services.

November 28, 2014