(CBN - Global) May 6 -- Mr. Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the top official in charge of Hong Kong and Macau affairs, is expected to announce the start of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program during a visit to Hong Kong this month.
Mr. Zhang is due to attend the Belt and Road Summit on May 18 along with other senior ministers and business leaders from countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st century Maritime Silk Road.
A visit by a top Communist Party leader to Hong Kong usually has two goals - to send a friendly message and to promote favorable economic policies.
Hong Kong's unemployment rate jumped to 3.4 percent at the end of last month, and tourism numbers from the Chinese mainland are down. While employment figures are still higher than on the mainland, it could evolve into a social and even a political issue. Mr. Zhang might address this and other issues during his visit.
The Shenzhen-Hong Kong stock connect program will link A-shares listed in Shenzhen with Hong Kong stocks to facilitate cross-border securities investment. Announcing the launch of such a scheme will be a big boost to the Hong Kong economy.