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Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 08:19

Tung urges HK youth to know the country

By Luis Liu in Hong Kong
Tung urges HK youth to know the country
(From left to right) Victor Fung Kwok-king, chairman of Fung Group, Tung Chee-hwa, chairman of Our Hong Kong Foundation, Allan Zeman, “father of Lan Kwai Fong”, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, Stephen Roach, senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and Baron Davies of Abersoch, former British minister of state for trade, investment and small business, share their insights at the “China Today: New Dimensions and New Opportunities” Forum at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on Dec 14 . (Roy Liu / China Daily)

Hong Kong’s young people should devote their time and efforts to visiting and engaging with the mainland, Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Tung Chee-hwa said.

By getting to know their aspirations, concerns and future challenges, the city’s youth would be able to support the country’s rise and  would also benefit from its ongoing development, Tung said.

Speaking at a forum on China’s development organized by think tank Our Hong Kong Foundation — of which the former chief executive is also the chairman — Tung said the “mainland factor” was Hong Kong’s No 1 competitive advantage. Throughout its history, the city’s fate had been inextricably linked to that of the mainland, he reiterated.

Since the mainland opened up in 1978, it has been expanding its economy at a rate of 10 percent per annum. It has lifted 700 million people out of poverty, according to government figures. After the 2008 financial crisis, China has provided over 50 percent of the global economic growth from 2009 to 2011, according to global economic studies.

Even though the mainland economy has recently entered its “new normal” phase — growing at a speed of about 7 percent — its contribution to world growth still stands at about 30 percent.

“China has been developing so fast that we need to be constantly on the alert to keep up with what is happening, so that we can more intelligently assess her position today and her opportunities in the future,” Tung advised.

In the central government’s blueprint, the country was set to join the ranks of developed countries, Tung said. Hong Kong is still in a unique position to ride the nation’s wave of development and also to help it. This was because the city had high-quality service industries and also an international outlook, he said.

Tung urged the city’s youth to ensure they had greater knowledge of their motherland. In doing so, they would be better prepared to handle future challenges. These might be in Hong Kong, the mainland or around the world, Tung added.

“Anything you do that will make Hong Kong and the country better will mean that  much more of a fulfilling life,” he stressed.

luisliu@chinadailyhk.com
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