Date
24 September 2017
Henderson Land's Peter Lee (left) says political conflict is hurting Hong Kong's economy, but Trade Development Council's Fred Lam is confident about the city's economic development. Photos: HKTDC, ifeng.com
Henderson Land's Peter Lee (left) says political conflict is hurting Hong Kong's economy, but Trade Development Council's Fred Lam is confident about the city's economic development. Photos: HKTDC, ifeng.com

Xi warns HK on losing competitiveness, Lam says no worries

President Xi Jinping has warned Hong Kong against losing its competitiveness, saying the city has to find new ways to boost its economy. But a local business leader says there is no reason to worry.

The Chinese leader made the remarks during his meeting with a delegation of Hong Kong business tycoons led by former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa in Beijing on Monday.

Xi said Hong Kong has been one of the Four Asian Tigers, but it must continue to adopt innovative means to fuel its economic growth instead of clinging to the past, Commercial Radio reported, citing Peter Lee Ka-kit, deputy chairman of Henderson Land Development, who was a member of the delegation.

Lee agreed with the top leader, saying increasing political conflict would hurt Hong Kong’s economy. In the past few years, Hong Kong’s prosperity have been largely depended on the central government’s incentive policies and the city hasn’t envolved much in China’s development and reform, Lee said, adding that people should not try to destroy the relationship.

However, Fred Lam, executive director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said he remains positive about the city’s future.

“There’s plenty of good time [for Hong Kong] to enjoy” its prosperity, the Hong Kong Economic Journal quoted Lam as saying.

He said the territory has unique advantages, including its geographical location, environment, economic progress and the people’s social status.

As such, it should not position itself as “China’s Hong Kong” and get entangled in competition with other mainland cities, Lam said.

Instead, the city should further “internationalize” itself and attract top talents from around the world to become “Asia’s Hong Kong”, he said.

Lam admits that other major Asian cities have been gradually catching up on Hong Kong in recent years.

He said Hong Kong’s slow infrastructure development has dragged down the city’s progress and may undermine its competitiveness in the long run, the report said.

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MY/JP/CG

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