HONG KONG - Hong Kong is gunning for a placeon the world stage and the city's chief executive Carrie Lam is on a mission to "take our markets global" and woo more international companies to list on its stock exchange.
Mrs Lam made the point at the 18th anniversary reception of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) on Wednesday (June 13).
She expressed her gratitude to the Chinese authorities for the opportunities so that HKEX can collaborate with the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges to now allow international and mainland Chinese investors to trade securities in each other's markets.
But Hong Kong's value, she stressed, lies in being international and this is how the city can "contribute to the further opening up of the mainland's financial markets".
Mrs Lam also referred to her 12-hour trip to Saudi Arabia last December as part of efforts to woo the world's largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, to list in Hong Kong.
Various markets including London, New York and Singapore have been vying for the much-anticipated international listing, but reports said Saudi Aramco's listing is likely delayed until 2019.
Mrs Lam told the crowd that her team is still "working very hard" on wooing Saudi Aramco, adding she is "happy" to go on more roadshows with HKEX to tell the world that Hong Kong is the place to be.
She said while new listing rules are important in attracting new-economy technology companies, biotechnology firms and secondary listing of overseas-listed companies in Hong Kong, the regulatory regime is also key.
"We can offer the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, this high degree of internationalisation and this place being a very liveable city so that more companies from abroad will choose Hong Kong as their destination for the raising of capital," Mrs Lam said.