Monday, March 12, 2007

Shanghai Deserves Equal Treatment

Today's SCMP reports:

"The central government aims to take further steps to reinforce Hong Kong's role as an international financial centre, signalling its intention to highlight the city's importance to China's economy ahead of the 10th anniversary of the handover.

Analysts saw Beijing's efforts to promote Hong Kong's role as a setback for Shanghai, whose leadership has been hit by a series of corruption scandals culminating in the sacking of its former party secretary, Chen Liangyu ...

It is expected to announce more favourable policies soon, probably before the July 1 handover anniversary...

"The conclusion to the decade-long debate on the role between the twin cities has become clear now. Hong Kong, with its existing advantages, should serve China internationally, while Shanghai, with its limitations, should focus on serving the domestic market," Professor Zhong said. "

Read more here.

My response is, why shouldn't Shanghai be allowed to compete with HK? If Shanghai's legal framework and other institutions are inadequate to serve as China's international financial centre at this point in time, wouldn't it be more productive to speed up their development rather than condemn it to an insignificant role.

Why HK's is so worry about Shanghai? Afterall, it competes quite successfully with world gaints like London and New York, why it fears to compete with Shanghai?

Actually it is not correct to say HK is competing with Shanghai. As long as China has the ability to grant favorable policies to HK but not to Shanghai, the playing field is tilted even before the game begins.

No comments: