58 Shandong-based companies currently list in Hong Kong, reflecting the close connection between the two regions

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HONG KONG, July 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As a major international financial center in the Asia Pacific region, Hong Kong serves as a super connector under the principle of "one country, two systems" to help more mainland companies gain access to the world’s financial markets. The Shandong Financial Supervisory Authority recently advised Hong Kong Commercial Daily’s Shandong Bureau that as of June 8, 2022, 58 local companies had chosen Hong Kong’s capital market as their investment vehicle, forming a unique "Shandong segment" in the city’s stock market.

After Hong Kong’s sovereignty was transferred to China, the connection between the city and Shandong province opened a new chapter. Evidenced by a special event co-organized by the Press Office of the Shandong Provincial Government and the Shandong Liaison Unit of the HKSAR government, the exchanges and interactions between the two regions have proven dynamic and multi-faceted spanning not only the economy but also people’s livelihoods. With the formation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the implementation of Shandong’s strategic plan to make it a venue for further opening up, the cooperation between the two regions has continued to expand.

Since 2009, Shandong’s provincial government has hosted Hong Kong-Shandong Week in the financial hub for ten consecutive years. The event has become a recognized platform for learning about the comparative advantages of Shandong and Hong Kong and the steps the two regions have taken to create a strong and distinctive climate of openness. In 2018, the Shandong provincial government hosted the first Confucian Merchants Conference, followed by the second edition in 2020. The second edition included a special online session to further promote cooperation between the two regions. In 2020, faced with the sudden COVID-19 outbreak, the Shandong authorities assisted locally-based Hong Kong-invested companies in implementing epidemic prevention measures, resuming production and addressing other issues.

In March 2021, the Shandong government rolled out nine policy initiatives with the goal of furthering exchanges and cooperation with Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions, enabling Hong Kong financial institutions to establish branches in Shandong province and invest in local financial entities, as well as allowing Hong Kong-funded businesses to be engaged in the mixed-ownership reform of local state-owned enterprises. These favorable policies received a positive response from a number of Hong Kong companies.

Hong Kong companies have been investing in Shandong-based companies for decades, with the result that, as of the end of 2021, 5,322 Hong Kong-invested companies were registered in the province, with the actual use of Hong Kong-originated capital having topped US$65.96 billion. Deeply rooted in the province, these companies have turned their investment focus from traditional markets to emerging sectors such as finance and high-tech.

The people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two regions have continued to deepen in recent years. In 2019, both regions jointly organized a Miles Journey event during which more than 300 students and young professionals from Hong Kong visited and studied in Qufu and Tai’an, gaining a deeper understanding of Confucian culture.

In 2019, the HKSAR and Shandong governments jointly hosted the Qingdao Ocean Science Internship Programme for Hong Kong Youth, an event that had been well received by all participants. In addition, Hong Kong community groups have organized exchange visits to Shandong to help Hong Kong’s graduating students broaden their horizons and deepen their understanding of the mainland job market.

Shandong’s government is increasing its efforts to promote an understanding of and interest in its culture in Hong Kong by hosting a series of events in recent years such as the Shandong Cultural Exchange Week and the Sister School Partnership programme. Such events have helped raise the visibility and reputation of Shandong province in Hong Kong, providing a powerful boost to the influence of the province’s culture in locales near and far.