Belt and Road summit hails HK ‘bridge’

About 80 state-owned enterprises have a total of 2,915 operating units in Hong Kong, with assets up to 3.8 trillion yuan (HK$4.57 trillion).

That shows that Hong Kong has become an important partner and is acting as a bridge in building the “Belt and Road” initiative, said Hao Peng, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, at the sixth Belt and Road Summit yesterday.

For his part, Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said Beijing will support Hong Kong in its bid to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s biggest free-trade deal led by China, as soon as possible.

The SAR is eager to start formal discussions when the partnership is ready for new members, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

The summit was cohosted by the Trade Development Council and the SAR administration.

That came as factory activity in China contracted for the first time in 1 years, as shown by a private survey.

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing PMI dropped to 49.2 last month from 50.3 in July, below the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction, and the official PMI also fell to 50.1 from 50.4, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Goldman Sachs analysts expressed optimism about the yuan, saying it will overtake the yen and the pound to become the world’s third-largest reserve currency by 2030.

Yuan reserves held by global central banks could soar from the current US$287 billion (HK$2.24 trillion) to US$400 billion in the next five years and the yuan will account for 6 percent of global reserve currency by 2030, they said.

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