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Conference on “The Future Hong Kong Economy” gathers thought leaders to discuss the city’s economic development

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HONG KONG SAR 22 January 2024 – The “Thought Leadership Confaserence Series: The Future of Hong Kong Economy”, organised by HKU Business School and co-organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, concluded successfully on 18 January. The conference gathers distinguished scholars, policymakers and business leaders to engage in knowledge exchange and explore policy directions and opportunities for economic development in various topics, including the global economic outlook, repositioning Hong Kong economy, uncovering economic opportunities for Hong Kong’s transformation, entrepreneurs’ perception on the future opportunities, ESG Development and talent cultivation. This year, the conference invited Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Memorial Prize laureate in Economic Sciences and Mr. Vincent Lo, Founder and Chairman of Shui On Group as keynote speakers.

(From left) Professor Hongbin Cai, Dean and Chair of Economics of HKU Business School; Professor Christoph H Loch, Professor of Operations & Technology Management, Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for Chinese Management, and Former Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School and Editor-in-Chief of Management Science; Professor Richard Wong, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong, Chair of Economics & Philip Wong Kennedy Wong Professor in Political Economy, and Director of Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy; Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Memorial Prize laureate in Economic Sciences; engaged in a panel discussion.
(From left) Professor Hongbin Cai, Dean and Chair of Economics of HKU Business School; Professor Christoph H Loch, Professor of Operations & Technology Management, Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for Chinese Management, and Former Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School and Editor-in-Chief of Management Science; Professor Richard Wong, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong, Chair of Economics & Philip Wong Kennedy Wong Professor in Political Economy, and Director of Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy; Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Memorial Prize laureate in Economic Sciences; engaged in a panel discussion.

Professor Richard Wong, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong, Chair of Economics & Philip Wong Kennedy Wong Professor in Political Economy, and Director of Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, in his welcoming remarks, said, ‘As a highly open economy, Hong Kong’s economy is inherently intertwined with global developments. It is a fundamental truth that when the world prospers, so does Hong Kong, and conversely, when the world faces challenges, Hong Kong’s prosperity is also affected. It is crucial for us to look beyond the immediate concerns of geopolitical dynamics and post-pandemic economic recovery. By embracing resilience, creativity, and collaboration, we can navigate the challenges ahead, unlock new opportunities, and pave the way for a prosperous future for Hong Kong and its people.’

Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Memorial Prize laureate in Economic Sciences said, ‘Global cooperation is crucial to address worldwide issues, particularly climate change and pandemics, even in a world characterized by divisions. Collaboration in these specific domains serves the best interests of all parties involved. We currently live in an era where nothing can be taken for granted. The emergence of new economic actors, political landscapes, geoeconomics, and geopolitics further underscores the need for collective action. This holds particular significance for Hong Kong, as it will be significantly impacted by these evolving global dynamics. Similar to other regions, Hong Kong will encounter fresh challenges as it navigates through these uncertain waters.’

Mr. Vincent Lo, Founder and Chairman of Shui On Group, in his lunch keynote speech, said, ‘The Greater Bay Area offers many and different opportunities. Hong Kong has to be able to make good use of the private sector and resources from around the world, and becomes an investment hub for the Belt and Road Initiatives. We have all the necessary expertise, together with Hong Kong’s invaluable and unique experience in participating and contributing to the Chinese Mainland in its 45 years of phenomenal growth and development. We know what to, how to raise the funds and necessary resources for the successful completion of the projects. Hong Kong is a super-value creator.’

Mr. Chris Sun, JP, Secretary for Labour and Welfare of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, attended a panel discussion of Hong Kong’s talent and youth development and said, ‘For decades, Hong Kong has greatly benefited from the abundance of local talent. It is the extensive and highly skilled local talent pool that has shaped Hong Kong into what it is today. However, the current reality we face is a shortage of talent. As we look ahead, our challenge lies not only in attracting talent but also in retaining it. This is why we have established the Hong Kong Talent Engage to provide facilitation services, but more importantly, to build our partner circle.’

Professor Hongbin Cai, Dean and Chair of Economics of HKU Business School said ‘HKU Business School has been dedicated to conducting economic policy research for many years, aiming to contribute to the sustainable development of Hong Kong’s economy. To cope with the future challenges of Hong Kong, society needs to focus on vision, policies, housing, and land. This year’s Green Paper and conference have achieved remarkable results, receiving enthusiastic feedback from participants and affirming their value and impact.’

Professor Heiwai Tang, Associate Dean (External Relations) & Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics of HKU Business School and Associate Director of Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy concluded the conference and said, ‘Despite the numerous challenges and uncertainties, including unforeseen geopolitical tensions, we always remain optimistic due to collective action in society. This year’s conference and Green Paper has been a resounding success, which brought together stakeholders from various sectors, showcasing their eagerness to contribute ideas and recommendations to the challenges facing our economy. HKU Business School looks forward to building upon this success and continuing our collaborative efforts in the future.’

HKU Business School has been committed to analysing Hong Kong’s economic landscape and policy issues through professional knowledge and distinguished research. Collaborating with other renowned scholars, our faculty members have recently published the “Hong Kong Economic Policy Green Paper 2024” and held the 3rd Conference on The Future Hong Kong Economy, after its inaugural edition in 2021, bringing together leaders from various sectors of society to contribute ideas and strategies for the long-term prosperity of the city.