A photo taken on July 14, 2020 shows Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong on July 14, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

In addition to what has made Hong Kong a global financial center, the city has essential strengths that speak for themselves. In recent years, several policies have been adopted to make Hong Kong a global hub of innovation and technology by making the most of these strengths. The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Wider Bay region remains the most prominent among policies, and as a result, authorities in the 11 cluster cities and those in Beijing have offered their best bets. Hong Kong could go ahead, but for insane social unrest that began in June 2019 and followed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The word “resilience” is perhaps more appropriate in Hong Kong, as has been proven time and time again. And when smart minds make the calls, you have reason to be optimistic. When economic planners and experts gathered to help the Hong Kong SAR community proactively integrate into national development, they were unequivocal that the role played by the HKSAR in the country’s will to become global technological power remains vital.

With the ever-expanding continental market strengthening, HKSAR has retained the unique “one country, two systems” advantage alongside its close links to global markets. While many parts of the world are still struggling to resume economic activities due to the pandemic, mainland China’s economy is emerging smartly.

Before we get into the positive, let’s take a look at the data released in April: China’s economy grew 18.3% year-on-year and GDP reached around 3.82 trillion. dollars in the first quarter of 2021. a low base in early 2020 when COVID-19 crippled the Chinese economy. In January, a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development showed that when the world economy was in slump in 2020, China attracted more foreign direct investment than any other country, dethroning the United States. . The previous year, mainland China had brought in $ 163 billion in capital inflows, compared to $ 134 billion for the United States.

During the discussion on the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the opportunities it offers for Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying, vice chairman of the country’s highest political advisory body, struck the right note, saying that the HKSAR and most international companies have little clue about the status quo and strategic development on the Chinese mainland.

What I understood from the discussions of the experts is that the huge continental market is necessary to advance the integration of innovation, value and industrial chains, and that Hong Kong should take full advantage of the market and of the nation’s self-sufficiency strategy in the scientific field. and technology.

The latest five-year plan is different from the previous ones on one key point – the strategic positioning of the HKSAR. “Hong Kong’s traditional role as an intermediary and connector between the mainland and overseas markets will be enhanced to become that of a hub, playing a key role in stimulating the ‘dual circulation’ development model of the nation, ”said Liu Yuanchun, vice president of Renmin University of China. The latest development plan offers unwavering support to transform the HKSAR into a global hub of technological innovation, strengthen its position as a global hub of aviation and develop it into a clearinghouse for arts and culture between the continent and the world. The plan also strengthens the resolution to consolidate HKSAR’s status as an international offshore renminbi trading center, global asset management hub, risk management hub, and center for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region. The word “pivot” comes up several times, suggesting an improvement in the strategic positioning of the HKSAR.

To make this plan a success, Hong Kong must remedy its weakness while strengthening its strengths. As the city has world-class universities and an open environment for scientific research, its technological strengths remain an important part of the country’s innovative system. “They will play a key role in supporting the country. We will accelerate the establishment of the Great Bay region as an international technological center,” said Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang.

Hong Kong needs to improve its game by attracting scientists from mainland China and abroad, and remove red tape that hinders policy implementation. The HKSAR government must work with the continent’s tech industry and further increase spending on research and development, if the city is to be recognized as a global technology center.

As it stands, there is no way to doubt the importance of Hong Kong to China and the world. But to make the most of his blessings, he should improve the work of coordination and implementation as he makes a fresh start.

The author is a Hong Kong-based journalist.

Opinions do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.