Hong Kong finance chief Paul Chan to visit US in first joint push with Macau, Guangdong to promote Greater Bay Area

Hong Kong’s finance chief will visit the US next Monday as part of the first-ever joint delegation with Macau and Guangdong officials to promote business opportunities in the Greater Bay Area.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po was already on his way to Paris on Wednesday as part of the delegation’s charm offensive in Europe, while the US leg of the tour next week was expected to span four days and include stops in San Francisco and Berkeley in California, the Hong Kong government said.

The Post learned that Wang Weizhong, Guangdong’s governor and No 2 official, would help helm the mainland Chinese province’s contribution to the delegation. He will join Macau and Hong Kong officials in meeting European and US business leaders to update them on the bay area’s latest developments.

The Greater Bay Area is a national development plan which links Hong Kong and Macau with nine Guangdong cities. Beijing has plans to establish the bay area as an economic powerhouse and innovation hub – the Chinese answer to the US’ Silicon Valley in San Francisco, as many have dubbed it.

During the US leg of the trip, Chan will take part in two major conferences: the Bay to Bay Dialogue between the California Bay Area and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area; and the US-China High-Level Event on Subnational Climate Action.

He will also update local business communities and major players in the innovation and technology sector on the latest business opportunities in the city at a lunch co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco and the Bay Area Council, a business association in San Francisco.

A view of Shenzhen from the observation deck of Ping An Finance Center, the tallest building in China’s Greater Bay Area. Photo: Dickson Lee

Chan will also meet local political representatives in the US and visit companies there.

The trip will be the finance chief’s second visit to San Francisco in six months, after he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November last year.

City leader John Lee Ka-chiu had turned down an invitation to join the summit, citing a pre-scheduled agenda.

Lee is among several Hong Kong and mainland officials sanctioned by the US since 2020 for their role in the enactment of the Beijing-imposed national security law, which the US views as undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.

For the coming trip, the Hong Kong delegation includes senior officials such as Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau Ying-wah, Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung and Undersecretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Joseph Chan Ho-lim.

In Paris, Chan will attend a conference jointly organised by Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau, to promote trade between the Greater Bay Area and Europe.

Chan will leave Hong Kong on Wednesday night and return on June 1. While he is away, Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun will serve as acting financial secretary.

In April this year, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui Ching-yu travelled to New York to promote Hong Kong among American business and financial leaders, including Michael Bloomberg, founder of financial media company Bloomberg and a former New York City mayor.


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