The traditional Key Industries in Hong Kong, including the Finance Services, Trading and Marine Services Industry, as I have mentioned in my previous article in this series, surely can benefit a lot from the economic activities arising from the vision of “One Belt and One Road”. For the emerging economic sectors, they can find new directions for development from it as well.
This year is the year when China starts to build the “One Belt and One Road”, and the steady progress of this strategic initiative is an important part of the “13th Five-Year Plan” that the country is currently focusing on formulating. The HKSAR Government should provide leadership and support to various industries to promptly capture the opportunities arising from the “One Belt and One Road” and seek a new direction for Hong Kong economy’s as a whole.
The HKSAR Government must learn from mistakes and improve Hong Kong’s infrastructure to increase our capacity for tourists, and enhance education and publicity to stop radicals from advocating parochial nativism under the pretext of protest against nuisance caused by parallel traders.
Given the global pursuit of green economy, the HKSAR Government should reaffirm that environmental protection, while offering enormous social benefits, is itself an industry that can boost Hong Kong’s economic diversification, thereby more resources should be allocated in this area.
With regard to the issue of some Hong Kong employees having to work long hours, I believe the society as a whole will agree that it needs to be alleviated, but this does not mean that legislation on standard working hours (SWH) is the only course of action.
Hong Kong’s economy has spread the wings and soared up into the sky by tapping on the favorable mainland policies since the national policy of opening reform in late 1970’s. “One Belt and One Road” is another grandiose historic opportunity. Never in history have we seen such an opportune timing for development in terms of depth and breadth.
Abusive and chaotic filibuster has been the headache of the Legislative Council for far too long. The anarchic situation is aggravating and vigorously spreading to different parts of the Council. Not only is filibustering hindering the normal operation of our Legislature, it is also upsetting the checks and balance of our constitutional structure, turning the lawmaking body into a political tool of a handful politicians that paralyses the Executive’s administration and the governance of SAR Government. Filibustering is abused as if “cancer cells” in the body of the city’s constitutional structure.
Overall speaking, this year’s Budget (Appropriation Bill) is the best and the most comprehensive one of these past three years. Not only has it taken care of our grass root citizens, support to the middle class is also the strongest in recent years. Although the grievances of the middle class are yet to be fully mitigated, the proposed measures do help alleviate certain pressure amongst the class and therefore, deserve a round of applause.
This year’s Policy Address deserves support for its better coverage and foci than the previous two. But its emphasis on housing, land use and livelihood measures still outweighs economic development. The policy blueprint has not struck a balance on the overall development of Hong Kong: it is not strong enough to boost the economy and lacks new ways of thinking. The government is supposed to do more in diversifying the economy. Efforts should be made to promote the development of the innovation and technology industries - this is a matter concerning Hong Kong’s long-term competitiveness and a key for its industry diversification.
Hong Kong should seize the opportunity for economic diversification, so that it can improve people’s livelihood and prepare for future challenges in public finances. To promote diversification, the city must not only strengthen its traditional pillar industries but strongly support the emerging ones.