Hong Kong is in a "strong position" to take advantage of the shifting center of global economic gravity from the West to the East, the city's Chief Executive C Y Leung said here Wednesday.
Addressing a luncheon held by the Hong Kong Association of Banks, Leung said despite the global financial crisis, Hong Kong's banking sector continues to be the driving force in deepening, expanding and diversifying financial services in the city.
He said the accumulation of wealth and foreign exchange reserve on the Chinese mainland and in Asia has generated strong demand for world-class financial services.
"Serving as China's global financial center at a time of such profound change and progress, represent a historic responsibility and a huge opportunity for Hong Kong," Leung said.
He said under a strong regulatory framework and transparent supervision, the city's banking sector is well capitalized, liquid and profitable, adding that the interbank money market has well established and the size of private banking system is also on the rise.
According to the data, Hong Kong's financial services industry currently employs around 230,000 people, or 6 percent of the total workforce, having contributed 16 percent of the city's total GDP.
Leung said the Hong Kong government regards the promotion of the economic development as the top priority, and only through sustained and relatively high economic growth can Hong Kong move to the next level of development, and become more resilient to external financial shocks or economic challenges.