Hong Kong finance chief Paul Chan to go to US, promote metropolis and China’s Higher Bay Space to enterprise leaders

Hong Kong’s finance chief will embark on his second trip to the United States in half a year to promote the city’s business opportunities after a visit to France, the government has announced.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po will lead a team of delegates to Paris on Wednesday, then move on to San Francisco and Berkeley in California on Monday for a four-day stay in the United States.

His delegation will be joined by representatives from Macau and Guangdong province and they will meet business leaders in Europe and the US and update them on the latest developments in the Greater Bay Area.

The Greater Bay Area is a national development plan which links Hong Kong and Macau with nine Guangdong cities. Beijing has plans to establish the bay area as an economic powerhouse and innovation hub – the Chinese answer to the US’ Silicon Valley in San Francisco, as many have dubbed it.

During the US leg of the trip, Chan will take part in two major conferences: the Bay to Bay Dialogue between the California Bay Area and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area; and the US-China High-Level Event on Subnational Climate Action.

He will also update local business communities and major players in the innovation and technology sector on the latest business opportunities in the city at a lunch co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco and the Bay Area Council, a business association in San Francisco.

A view of Shenzhen from the observation deck of Ping An Finance Center, the tallest building in China’s Greater Bay Area. Photo: Dickson Lee

Chan will also meet local political representatives in the US and visit companies there.

The trip will be the finance chief’s second visit to San Francisco in six months, after he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November last year.

City leader John Lee Ka-chiu had turned down an invitation to join the summit, citing a pre-scheduled agenda.

Lee is among several Hong Kong and mainland Chinese officials sanctioned by the US since 2020 for their role in the enactment of the Beijing-imposed national security law, which the US views as undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.

For the coming trip, the Hong Kong delegation includes senior officials such as Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau Ying-wah, Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung and Undersecretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Joseph Chan Ho-lim.

In Paris, Chan will attend a conference jointly organised by Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau, to promote trade between the Greater Bay Area and Europe.

Chan will leave Hong Kong on Wednesday night and return on June 1. While he is away, Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun will serve as acting financial secretary.

In April this year, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui Ching-yu travelled to New York to promote Hong Kong among American business and financial leaders, including Michael Bloomberg, founder of financial media company Bloomberg and a former New York City mayor.

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