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


Hong Kong
CNN Business enterprise
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Hong Kong leader John Lee sought to drum up self esteem in the city’s potential as a international money hub on Wednesday, as he welcomed some of Wall Street’s top rated executives to its biggest global event in a long time.

Talking at an expense summit that has captivated additional than 200 contributors from 20 countries, the city’s main govt said that it was “opening at the time again” for intercontinental business enterprise right after far more than two and a 50 % many years of arduous pandemic constraints.

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

(GS)
CEO David Solomon, Morgan Stanley

(MS)
CEO James Gorman, UBS

(UBS)
chairman Colm Kelleher, HSBC

(HSBC)
CEO Noel Quinn and Conventional Chartered

(SCBFF)
CEO Invoice Winters, the federal government leader was insistent in reaffirming his intention to keep the former British colony aggressive for world-wide finance.

“We ended up, we are and we will continue being a single of the world’s main financial facilities,” Lee vowed. “You can get that to the financial institution.”

Lee also sought to reassure executives that Hong Kong would manage a distinctive job to that of mainland China, saying that central government officials experienced outlined their support for the city retaining its one of a kind position as a gateway between East and West.

China’s hottest 5-yr prepare involves aims to strengthen the city’s job as an international trade, monetary, transport and aviation heart, Lee reported. “The worst is guiding us.”

Solomon, Gorman and Kelleher, who took to the stage for a panel soon soon after Lee’s remarks, did not remark directly on the city’s reopening. But Kelleher mentioned that “whilst we’re all very professional-China,” the bank was “waiting for zero-Covid to open up up in China and see what will happen.”

In September, Hong Kong lifted quarantine needs that had largely isolated the metropolis, choked financial action, and fueled a historic mind drain. Mainland China, however, still has a mandate in location for most inbound vacationers to self-isolate for at minimum 7 times, below its stringent “zero-Covid plan.”

That contrast was highlighted Wednesday as mainland Chinese officers — which include People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang — dealt with the conference in pre-recorded movie remarks, fairly than attending in particular person.

Hong Kong’s financial system is closely reliant on economical providers. In 2020, the sector contributed $76 billion — about 23% of its GDP, Lee reported.

In an job interview with CNN Organization, DBS Hong Kong CEO Sebastian Paredes named the show of aid from the city’s leading brass “a tangible demonstration that Hong Kong is again.”

“The people today that have flown into Hong Kong — the world-wide CEOs of insurance coverage firms and non-public equity corporations and banking companies and the rest — exhibit that Hong Kong is a incredibly important global fiscal center,” he explained.

“We’ve been shut for much too long,” he added, noting that some limitations remain, like controls on the border with mainland China. “But as we development, at minimum we are opening internationally,” claimed Paredes. “We are hopeful.”