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Monday, March 6, 2017, 21:47

Shenzhen 'could outshine Hong Kong'

By Luo Weiteng
Shenzhen 'could outshine Hong Kong'

Beijing – The central government’s top official in charge of the two special administrative regions' affairs on Monday warned that Hong Kong was likely to lose ground to Shenzhen within two years if the financial hub continued to overly politicize every issue and shift its focus from boosting its domestic economy.

The city should waste no time in joining the Belt and Road Initiative, and focus on economic growth

Zhang Dejiang, Chairman, Standing Committee of the National People's Congress

Zhang Dejiang , chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, made the remarks during a closed-door meeting with Hong Kong deputies to the NPC, the nation’s top legislature, in Beijing.

Hong Kong NPC deputies, who had been in the meeting, quoted Zhang as saying the city should waste no time in joining the Belt and Road Initiative, and focus on economic growth.

Maria Tam Wai-chu, head of the Hong Kong NPC delegation, said Zhang expressed concern that Hong Kong may lose a golden opportunity by not following the country’s development, which was more rapid than ever. Such opportunities, once missed, would be forever gone.

READ MORE: 'One Country, Two Systems' best recipe for SARs

Shenzhen 'could outshine Hong Kong'
Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), joins a panel discussion with deputies to the 12th NPC from Zhejiang Province at the annual session of the NPC in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2017. (Gao Jie / Xinhua)

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, an NPC Standing Committee member, said Zhang reiterated his confidence in Hong Kong's competitive edge. As an international metropolis and gateway to the vast mainland market, the city had what it took to outshine its mainland peers. However Hong Kong faced strong pressure from the city just across its border. Shenzhen, a fishing village-turned-megacity, stood as a poster-child of the nation’s “new economy”, epitomizing the innovation and technological development that was expected to be the country’s next growth engine.

The coastal metropolis, dubbed China’s Silicon Valley and tech capital, could upstage Hong Kong in terms of economic performance.

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