Interview: Hong Kong tycoon upbeat about mainland's economy

2015-09-25 08:01

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In the eyes of K. Wah Group Chairman Lui Che-woo, the Chinese mainland remains a sound investment destination as he believes its economy will resume fast growth despite a recent slowdown.

Lui, the second richest man in Asia with a worth of 22 billion U.S. dollars, stays upbeat about the mainland's economy. He likened the mainland's economic development to driving during a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua, saying, "Driving on straights is often fast, but driving around curves requires you to slow down to find the right direction."

Lui dismissed worries that he would relocate his business away from the mainland, saying he has every confidence in the country and would increase investment both in Hong Kong and the mainland.

"I expect the mainland's economy to skyrocket after growing at a steady pace in the coming year or two," Lui said. He also thought highly of the Belt and Road initiative, which he said would inject strong impetus into Asia's future development.

As a distinguished philanthropist, Lui has been particularly supportive to the development of education. Up till now, over 100 educational institutions and schools in Hong Kong, Macao and mainland have received generous donations from him.

"I was not well educated during my childhood. When I moved to Hong Kong, I became increasingly aware of the importance of education, thus developing a strong interest in educational charity," he said.

In his latest move to repay society, Lui founded the Lui Che Woo Prize - Prize for World Civilization with an investment of 2 billion HK dollars (258 million U.S. dollars).

The annual prize, which celebrated its official launch on Thursday, is the first of its kind to make a global call for a combination of sustainable future, improvement in human welfare and promotion of positive energy.

A cash award of 20 million HK dollars awaits laureates in each of three categories in the prize, on top of a certificate and a trophy.

"In the face of a challenging global economic and geopolitical environment, my wish is to deliver well-being to people and to create the conditions where goodness, beauty and harmony can thrive. I'm doing this by launching the prize that embraces and promotes these values," Lui said.

Despite being in his late 80s, the billionaire is still passionate about work and life. Besides doing exercise regularly, he stressed the importance of maintaining a peaceful mind to keep fit.

He suggested youth should neither be too obsessed with material possessions, nor expect to get rich overnight. "No one knows how much money is enough.

No matter how much you earn, the most important thing is to have a peaceful mind," Lui noted.

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