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Hong Kong's new leader promises to strengthen the role of Hong Kong's global business

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Hong Kong's new leaderJohn Leewill take the city's status as a global on FridayI vowed to strengthen. Business Hub, but he did not suggest deviating from Beijing's claim to strict zero-covid rules.

The former British colonial reputation as an international financial centerhas beencompliant with China'sinflexible Covid restrictionsfor the past two yearsWas hit by. .. They made the city unattractive to foreigners and made it much more difficult for foreign executives to visit.

The chief executive officer of the Hong Kong government, who spoke at Mandarin at the inauguration ceremony attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, said he would "integrate" Hong Kong's "unique lucrative industry."

Lee did not reveal the details of the policy, nor did he mention the city's controversial Covid policy and rising opposition to border control, which has surprised many international corporations.

Hong Kong has long been aimportant gateway to mainland Chinaand aeast-west conduit for global business. However, the future of the city isdue to the movement to erode China's autonomy and the outflow oftalent, such as the introduction of theNational Security Actin 2020. It has been questioned. 34} According to the Covid rule.
Earlier this year, a survey of European companies in Hong Kong found that nearly half ofwere considering relocating next year.

Followed by a similar report from the American Chamber of Commerce in January, it was found that 44% of expatriates and businesses are likely to leave the city.

"Hong Kong still has business opportunities, but various issues, such as a particularly strict travel ban and worsening US-China relations, are putting pressure on emotions," the US report said.

Hong Kong's Quarantine Regulationsare notorious among residents and foreigners. At some point, the government required most inbound travelers to quarantine in their hotel rooms for three weeks, one of the longest quarantine periods in the world.

Hong Kong authorities have lifted the flight ban and reduced quarantine requirements, but the outflow of talent has already begun.

Even without the Covid crisis, headhunters struggled to bring talent to Hong Kong as Beijing began to monitor semi-autonomous territories.

Xi gave a speech at Lee's inauguration on Friday, with Beijing "strengthening its position as an international financial, shipping and trade center" and "a free, open and regulated business environment."

Lee saidapart from strengthening Hong Kong's current position in finance and shipping, his government will also build Hong Kong's technology and innovation industry.

"We will develop emerging industries and make Hong Kong an international innovation center," Lee said.

In his speech, Lee praised China's Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area initiative, saying it gave Hong Kong "unlimited opportunities and unlimited development space."

Alex Stambaugh, Charlie Fong, and Allison Morrow contributed to this report.