With the new Government taking office on 1 July, the business community has high expectations of the new administration, particularly with regard to providing a clear roadmap and timetable for our post-pandemic economic recovery.
In my opinion, economic development and improving people’s livelihoods are the golden rules of governance. Results-oriented efforts should be made in a timely manner, so that businesses and people from all walks of life can share the fruits of economic growth.
As the saying goes: “To stand still or move slowly is to fall behind.”
Hong Kong is an international financial centre, and the flow of people and trade is fundamental to the flow of capital in and out of the city. As such, once the fifth wave of the pandemic is brought under control, the new Government should work on the resumption of quarantine-free travel with the Mainland as soon as possible, and strike a balance for resuming the normal flow of people from around the world.
At the same time, Hong Kong needs to strengthen its status as an international financial centre. Specifically, by leveraging our unique advantage under “one country, two systems,” and well-established financial and legal infrastructure, we should further develop offshore RMB business, create new growth drivers and enhance our overall competitiveness.
Another key focus for Hong Kong to boost our post-pandemic economic recovery is to attract and retain talent. To this end, I suggest that the new Government adopt a two-pronged approach by conducting a comprehensive review of its talent policy and various talent admission schemes and drawing up a new talent list for the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, while also continuing to cut red tape, improve our business environment, and provide competitive tax incentives.
These will help attract more multinational corporates, funds and talent to Hong Kong, to meet the current needs of the city.
Of particular note is that the new administration should formulate policies targeted at attracting quality talent to stay and work here upon graduation. To attract such talent in the first place, we should reinforce Hong Kong’s role as an education hub. This can be achieved by offering scholarships, increasing quotas, as well as easing the academic and employment requirements for Mainland and overseas students.
Another policy priority of the new Government will be to unite the community and address deep-rooted livelihood issues. Currently, land and housing supply is the most pressing one. To make Hong Kong a truly appealing place to live and work, I believe restoring the housing ladder is a matter of utmost urgency.
The Government should take a multi-pronged approach, including stepping up the planning and development of the Northern Metropolis, accelerating the redevelopment of aged public housing estates and raising plot ratios.
Once everyone has a decent place to live, Hong Kong will be able to move forward steadily with focused efforts on economic development, enabling the Pearl of the Orient to shine again.