The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Friday marked the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) with a special closing bell ringing ceremony.[Special coverage]
Witnessed by many traders as well as some guests and journalists on the trading floor, Steve Barclay, Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York, rang the ceremonial closing bell at the NYSE, located in the heart of New York's financial district, at 4:00 p.m. (2000 GMT) Friday.
The guests cheered and applauded as Barclay, flanked by NYSE officials, rang the closing bell, signaling the end of market day.
"Today is the 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong's return of sovereignty to China. Hong Kong is one of the world's great financial centers, and we thought it is very appropriate to come to one of the other great financial centers, here in New York, to ring the closing bell of the NYSE on June 30, just a few hours before the exact timing of the 20th anniversary," Barclay said at the ceremony.
Established in 1792, the NYSE is also celebrating its 225th anniversary this year, with both Hong Kong companies and Chinese mainland corporates being a very important part of NYSE today, echoed Chris Taylor, Vice President of NYSE Listings & Services.
"If you look back 20 years ago, just before the handover, many people were very pessimistic about Hong Kong's future. Looking at Hong Kong today, it's still a shining beacon of prosperity, of business, of freedom," Barclay told Xinhua.
"Those people's predictions of the failure of Hong Kong do not come true," he added. "If you see any predictions today that the next 20 years will not be a success, I promise you those will not come true as well."
Barclay noted that Hong Kong succeeds because it has been able to retain the best of what existed before, combined with the opportunities of access to mainland China.
"I retire at the end of next month, and I'm retiring in Hong Kong, that is my vote of confidence," said Barclay, referring to the outlook of Hong Kong.