Finance heavyweights give bill the thumbs up

Finance | Avery Chen 25 May 2020

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said the proposed national security law would help Hong Kong maintain a favorable business and investment environment, as he sought to ease investors' concerns over violent clashes and social unrest.

The investment confidence in Hong Kong was rattled by the lack of understanding of the relevant lawmaking process, rather than the new law itself, Chan said in a blog post yesterday.

The central government has pointed out that the new legislation will only aim at a few people who are suspected of national security-related crimes, he said. For the general public, the new law will not interfere with their freedom and rights or affect their daily lives, and their property security will continue to be safeguarded, he added.

Meanwhile, Christopher Hui Ching-yu, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, said the law will not change Hong Kong's financial system, restrict the use of social media, or results in international financial talent leaving Hong Kong.

Hongkongers should not be worried too much about a law that other countries have had for years, he said. Throughout Hong Kong's history, talent and funds have chosen the city even thought testing times such as the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the SARS epidemic, the 2008 financial crisis, political unrest, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic, Hui said.

National security is the fundamental of social stability and the cornerstone to promote investment and keep talent, Hui said while calling for joint efforts to seize the opportunities amid changing international economic landscape.

Also, Joseph Yam Chi-kwong, Executive Council member and former Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief, said the legislation will consolidate Hong Kong's position as an international financial center, because international investors, issuers, and professionals in financial intermediaries all hope to work and live in a stable society.



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