Jack Ma Yun — founder and executive chairman of the mainland’s largest ecommerce platform Alibaba — on Monday promised to invest more in Hong Kong to create more quality jobs for its youth.

While praising Hong Kong youth for their globalization awareness, the tech tycoon — one of the mainland’s wealthiest entrepreneurs — also urged them to view the mainland as a major market to develop their careers as vast opportunities are on offer there.

Ma made the remarks at the inauguration ceremony of the Hong Kong Association of Zhejiang Entrepreneurs. Also present were Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Tung Chee-hwa.

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The magnate said he has “unprecedented” confidence in Hong Kong as the city is now being governed by an efficient government which is adept in mobilizing social resources.

He also expressed Alibaba’s interest in forging Hong Kong’s financial market and helping the city to become the world’s second-largest financial center after New York.

Alibaba Group, which was established in 1999, held its first press conference in Hong Kong in the same year. The ecommerce giant has since expanded its operations worldwide from its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

Each year, the ecommerce giant provides 100 internship posts to young people from Hong Kong.

In her opening address, Lam noted that Hong Kong and Zhejiang province have enjoyed close business links, and Hong Kong is the largest source of overseas direct investment in Zhejiang, where her hometown is located.

Hong Kong had invested in more than 24,500 projects in the province until September last year, while many enterprises from Zhejiang have chosen to invest in the SAR.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma Yun (right) tells Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor of the group’s ambition on Monday at the inauguration ceremony of the Hong Kong Association of Zhejiang Entrepreneurs. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
 

More than 1,700 enterprises have plowed funds into industries, such as wholesale, textile and mining, in the SAR.

Hong Kong, which offers a big pool of talents, a friendly business environment and excellent capability in finance, shipping, logistics and other professional services, is undoubtedly an ideal springboard for Zhejiang’s enterprises to go global, Lam said.

Lam invited Ma to get Alibaba listed in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Association of Zhejiang Entrepreneurs is the ninth branch of the General Association of Zhejiang Entrepreneurs, with a mission to unite Zhejiang entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, and extend assistance to startups, small and mediumsized companies and female entrepreneurs.