Hong Kong’s economy is back in the groove after a sharp decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic and political turmoil, an upswing which has been applauded as the city aims to achieve robust long-term development.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region enjoys a sound business environment and a bright future, with vibrant growth and huge opportunities, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said on Monday, after releasing the “Report on Hong Kong’s Business Environment: A Place with Unique Advantages and Unlimited Opportunities”.
Hong Kong is now forging ahead to reclaim its position as an international center for finance, commerce and trade, a home for corporate headquarters, and a key hub for investment, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said
Morale in the business and economic landscape was dampened by COVID-19 and social upheaval, as was its appeal to overseas companies, investors and entrepreneurs. But Hong Kong is now forging ahead to reclaim its position as an international center for finance, commerce and trade, a home for corporate headquarters, and a key hub for investment, Chan noted.
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Hong Kong ranked third globally in the recently published Global Financial Centres Index, up two places from its September ranking in 2020.
Hong Kong fell as low as sixth place in March 2020 – a palpable impact of the emerging pandemic and protracted social unrest arising from the anti-extradition law movement.
Total funds raised through initial public offerings for the first eight months of 2021 were HK$269.8 billion ($34.66 billion), up by 81 percent on the same period last year. The increase is mainly credited to large-scale new economy enterprise listings and US-listed Chinese companies coming to Hong Kong for a secondary listing.
What are the implications of the economic recovery? How has Hong Kong captivated investors again after such major setbacks?
Hong Kong has had a bumpy road economically in recent years. In addition to the political chaos, the coronavirus outbreak threw up another curveball. However, the city has risen to the occasion thanks to the government’s generous relief measures, including the provision of HK$30 billion to enterprises and individuals at the onset of the pandemic, HK$120 billion of support measures for the economy and residents, and HK$80 billion for the Employment Support Scheme to help employers retain employees. Collective endeavors have reaped encouraging dividends – the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent for the three-month period ending in June, which is the lowest since the pandemic hit.
The government’s measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus have helped the city’s retail and catering industries back to their feet. Retail sales in the city rose 5.8 percent in June, compared to the same period last year. Although the pace of increase slowed, the upward trend persisted, with a rate of 2.9 percent in July – marking the sixth straight month of increases. For the first seven months in 2021, the total retail sales climbed 7.6 percent and 6.2 percent in value and volume respectively.
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The Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong SAR came in due course, helping the city restore its public order and social stability, which is an indispensable premise for economic resurrection and long-run development. A growing economy needs social integrity and solidarity.
The recent Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections ensure that the SAR is in the hands of patriots who truly love Hong Kong, safeguard the city’s stability and will do everything they can to ensure a bright future.