Tight land supply is stifling growth and hampering efforts to improve living standards in Hong Kong, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said Friday.
Lam blamed the problem on a “repositioning policy” after the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis which stalled a government program to build affordable housing.
“There is a lot of catching up to do,” she told a business luncheon in Singapore.
Despite the challenges, Hong Kong has one great advantage which offers tremendous opportunities, she said.
“This is our unique positioning under ‘one country, two systems’.”
The policy has allowed Hong Kong to become a “super-connector” between mainland China and the rest of the world, bringing business and financial advantages that no other economy can match, she said.
These include a free-trade agreement with the mainland known as Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), cross-border stock trading and an offshore renminbi trading scheme.
“CEPA … is a major reason why nearly 7,600 companies from around the world maintain offices in Hong Kong,” she said.
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