07/26/2023, 19.17
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John Lee touts Hong Kong model in Singapore to stop capital flight

Several cooperation agreements were signed during Lee’s visit to Singapore, which recently overtook the former British colony on the Global Financial Centres Index. Hong Kong’s leader tried to reassure investors that the One country, Two systems model was reliable, this despite the imposition of a draconian national security law.

Singapore (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee is in Singapore on an official visit. During his stay, the city-state and China’s special administrative region signed seven agreements to boost cooperation in several domains, like financial markets, trade, technological innovation, and research.

The visit is particularly interesting given the crucial role the two cities play in Asian financial markets.

In fact, many observers predict that big financial operators might prefer Singapore over Hong Kong because of uncertainties caused by the imposition of a draconian national security law on the former British colony and tough health restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), Singapore has overtaken Hong Kong, moving up from sixth to third place in terms of global financial market ranking, with the latter now in fourth place.

At a business dinner, in addition to warm words in favour of cooperation, Mr Lee touted Hong Kong’s low tax regime, reliable legal system, and especially, the One country, Two systems model.

“You would find that these attributes bear great resemblance with the value proposition of Singapore,” he said.

This is clearly an attempt to reassure business people inclined to think that the model had been effectively gutted and freedoms curbed.

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