Most of us will not easily forget the year 2020. It was overwhelmed by the impact of global pandemic. It “connected” the world and ironically kept people apart. The disruption caused lives, jobs, isolation, despairs etc. What could be the aftermath? This comes down to the leaders of our cities, countries and the world. Genuine leaders bring us vision and hope, not division, fear nor further disruption. Yet, everyone should play a part to rethink and rebuild our society with faith, hope and love.
The disruption offers opportunities for innovation and creates a new form of the economy. Many happenings go online, from meetings to business transactions, from performances to arts exhibitions. However, development of AI and usage of big data and the implied concern on privacy and security is becoming a real issue. In the coming decade, geopolitics especially China-U.S. relations will continue to be the focus of attention of the world. Brexit, signing of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and signing of Comprehensive Agreement on Investment between China and Europe also impact the landscape of the global geopolitics. We, of course, look forward to a cordial relation among countries and regions, and a win-win scenario for everyone.
Adapting to the New Normal
The Better Hong Kong Foundation (“the Foundation”) always strives to connect people. In 2020, despite most events had to go online, it did not stop us from organizing and participating in talks and forums to facilitate the exchange of ideas and reinforce understanding between people and organizations from different parts of the region. We invited Prof. Hui Kai-lung, Elman Family Professor of Business from the HKUST Business School, to talk about blockchain technology and the use of IT after the pandemic; Dr. Dong Tao, Vice Chairman Greater China of Credit Suisse Private Banking Asia Pacific, to speak about the global economic outlook, particularly on mainland China and Hong Kong, under the backdrop of the pandemic; Mr. Charles Li, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, to give a talk on “Will Hong Kong Remain an International Financial Center After the 2019 Social Unrest?”; and Prof. James Wang, Research Director of Belt & Road Hong Kong Centre to give a geo-economic analysis on the Belt & Road Initiative and Hong Kong’s role as a connector between the world and the Greater Bay Area.
The Foundation was honored to have in-depth discussions with Mr. Leung Chun-ying, Vice Chairman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (“CPPCC”) and former Chief Executive of the HKSAR, and Mr. Paul Chan, Financial Secretary on the challenges and opportunities to Hong Kong, amidst the challenging environment that Hong Kong faced locally and globally. The Foundation’s Executive Committee Chairman Mr. Ronnie Chan shared his thoughts on the China-U.S. relations and the global politics; and the Middle East: Past, Present and Future in his two talks.
To continue the annual initiative with our Shanghai partners, we organized a virtual forum on deepening collaboration between Hong Kong and Shanghai on maritime and aviation. The Foundation, Shanghai CPPCC and Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences jointly organized the forum and experts from Hong Kong and Shanghai shared their insights, which contributed also to the drafting of Shanghai’s 14th Five-Year Plan.
A Future with Hope
We may realize how limited human can do in times of changing. The world however keeps changing and has changed a lot. We should seize every opportunity to make the world a better place and let time passes with a meaning. With that, I would like to take this opportunity to give my heartfelt thanks to our members, counterparts and friends who offer their understanding and unfailing support to us. This year, we are pleased to welcome three new Council Members: Mr. Christopher Chan, Managing Director of Fantastic Natural Cosmetics Ltd, Mr. Nathan Lee, Vice President and Head of Business Development of TR Capital and Mr. Eugene Cheung, Executive Director, Research of Grosvenor Ltd. In the meantime, I would like to wish you all stay healthy, happy and be hopeful.
The Better Hong Kong Foundation