During the 6° Belt and Road Forum held in Hong Kong last September 4 and 5, 2021 China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao, and Liu Guangyuan, the commissioner of China’s Foreign Ministry’s Hong Kong office, have pledged to support Hong Kong in joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s biggest free-trade agreement signed between China, 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) , Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea. The adhesion of Hong Kong to RCEP will bring a new market access to Japan and South Korea from Hong Kong, which did not have its own free trade agreement with these two countries.
Ning Jizhe, the vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, declared that “China supports Hong Kong to be the international aviation shipping and logistics center, and also supports Hong Kong to become a global technology and innovation center”.
Hao Peng, head of the state-owned China Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) said “The SASAC will continue to implement the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ to support the Hong Kong government, and promote the central government to invest and start businesses in Hong Kong”. According to Hao, as of 2020, 80 central enterprises have 2,915 operating units in Hong Kong with total assets of HK$3.8 trillion (US$658 billion), making the city a key player in the Belt and Road Initiative.