The Future of Hong Kong's Public Finances: Spend Now, Tax Later?
Even before the pandemic, there had been a debate over whether Hong Kong’s low tax rates and simple tax regime were still relevant in a world that has undergone considerable change. In addition, an ageing population are expected to push up public expenditure, and the impact of Covid-19 has only served to exacerbate these issues. At a seminar on 20 September, Stephen Chiu, Associate Professor of Economics at HKU Business School, and Andrew Fennell, Lead Analyst for China and Hong Kong at Fitch Ratings, discussed the Government’s revenue and investment, and the impact of the collapse of tourism and Hong Kong’s fiscal buffers on the city’s credit rating outlook. The speakers also discussed some feasible suggestions to maintain the long-term fiscal sustainability of Hong Kong, such as Singapore’s policy of borrowing to invest.
Pitch Perfect Programme 2021-2022 Launching Ceremony
The Chamber held the launch ceremony for the Pitch Perfect Programme on 15 September, a programme for university students initiated by the Chamber’s Young Executives Club (YEC) and supported by the Home Affairs Bureau. Chamber Chairman Peter Wong, Vice Chairman Oscar Chow, LegCo Representative Jeffrey Lam and CEO George Leung, who serve as the Programme Advisory Committee, attended the launch. The Chamber was also delighted to have Caspar Tsui, Secretary for Home Affairs Bureau, representatives from supporting companies, as well as trainers, mentors and universities join the ceremony.
HKGCC Community Project: Care and Food Packages to Food Angel
The Chamber’s Women Executives Club (WEC) teamed up with Food Angel to prepare care packages for Hong Kong’s elderly citizens and families in need ahead of the Mid-Autumn festival. Volunteer members came to the Chamber on 11 September to prepare the packages, which included daily necessities such as rice, noodles, body wash and toothpaste, as well as festive treats like mooncakes and Chinese sausages. Some volunteer members distributed the packages at Food Angel Community Centre in Sham Shui Po on 14 September, where they had a chance to meet some of the beneficiaries in person.
With the generous support of members, close to $340,000 of in-kind and cash donations were contributed for this event. General Committee member Jennifer Chan, WEC Chairman Nikki Ng, Chamber CEO George Leung, and Food Angel Founder Gigi Tung, were among the volunteers at the event.
GBA Industry Focus Series: Financial Services Development and Opportunities
A thriving financial services industry is key to the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), and progress in this sector can also foster the growth of other industries. At a seminar entitled “GBA Industry Focus Series: Financial Services Development and Opportunities” on 9 September, a panel of experts -- Chris Chan, Mainland China and Hong Kong Financial Services Deals leader at PwC Hong Kong; Anson Law, Market Outreach Division, External Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority; Bo Zhang, Deputy Director of South China, Financial & Professional Services, Department for International Trade, British Consulate-General Guangzhou; Michael Cheng, Managing Director, Global Coverage, BOCI Asia Ltd; and Christophe Lee, Founder & CEO, Lotus Asset Management Ltd – discussed the development and opportunities for the financial services industry in the GBA, as well as the prospects for Hong Kong in retaining its role as a regional financial hub, and Hong Kong’s role within the GBA more generally.
The speakers said that financial industry could support companies from a wide variety of sectors to expand their businesses in the GBA, and contribute to the growing integration among the GBA cities.
A Heating Up in the Market for Cold Storage? Opportunities, Trends and Outlook
Demand for cold storage in Hong Kong will likely remain strong in the future, thanks to supply chain demand from activities including e-commerce and vaccine distribution.
At a webinar on 8 September, Rosanna Tang, Head of Research, Hong Kong and Greater Bay Area at Colliers, shared the latest findings on Hong Kong’s cold storage market. Despite being a niche sector, it offers considerable potential for institutional investors, given the higher rental premium that cold storage facilities relative to regular warehouses.
John Davies and Pureanae Jang, respectively Executive Director and Associate Director with Colliers, also provided insights on the outlook for the cold storage market.