Aerial photo taken on July 16, 2020 shows Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. (XINHUA)
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce is cautiously optimistic about the local economy and has revised upward its forecast for Hong Kong’s GDP growth to 6.3 percent from the 3.5 percent estimated at the end of 2020.
The upward adjustment is mainly due to the increase in local demand as a result of the way the pandemic was brought under control since the beginning of 2021 and the recovery of the global economy, which has also led to an increase in the city’s exports, said Wilson Chong, senior economist of HKGCC.
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44 percent of the companies surveyed expected their business turnover to increase for the whole year in 2021 and 38 percent expected it to remain generally unchanged, according to a HKGCC survey
As the streak of zero local cases continues and the vaccination rate increases, business confidence appears to be improving, with 44 percent of the companies surveyed expecting their business turnover to increase for the whole year in 2021 and 38 percent expecting it to remain generally unchanged, according to a survey conducted by the Chamber from July 19 to 23.
Among the 409 responses to the survey, 59 percent of large enterprises expect their annual turnover to increase. SMEs are less optimistic, with only 32 percent expecting their annual turnover to rise and 25 percent of SMEs anticipate a decrease in turnover.
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Limited business resources, modest investment in digital technology and less diversified business models made SMEs’ economic rebound less strong than that of larger enterprises, Chong said.
The survey also found that the inability to resume cross-border travel, social distancing measures and the brain drain were the top three challenges enterprises reported as hindering their business activities. In terms of talent loss, large companies are facing more pressure compared to SMEs, Chong said.
Chong suggested that the government conduct more international publicity to attract overseas professionals to work in Hong Kong.