Decoding 'get in front, not behind'

November 09, 2022 10:30
Chief Executive John Lee speaks at the Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit. Photo: HK Government

Talk is cheap, but it works in Hong Kong.

The biggest public relation show dubbed “Hong Kong is back” helped Hang Seng Index stage a near 2,000 points bounce back in Hang Seng Index to yesterday’s closing of 16,557.

Yes, one can say the Newton physics rule applies to HSI, the city’s economic heartbeat barometer, after a bloody sell-off in October that originated from a confidence crunch in China and Hong Kong.

But the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit on November 2 – despite a disappointing “0+3” quarantine arrangement and unfriendly yellow code for international travellers and a rare typhoon 8 – could not stop the re-emergence of Hong Kong.

In front of the 200 global financial heavyweights at the closed circuit Four Seasons, Chief Executive John Lee proclaimed, "Opportunity and timing, right here, right now in Hong Kong. This is the moment you have been waiting for. Go for it. Get in front, not behind."

The adage “get in front, not behind” stirred up a round of harsh comments on social media on the naked and direct language but as it turned out, it is not a bad stock tip for speculation at all.

One can easily grasp the implied message from policymakers. Fang Xinghai, vice chairperson of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, for example, warned attendees not to bet against China and Hong Kong, and even went further to suggest not to read too much international media – if they want to know more about China.

His comment was followed by a similar song by Financial Secretary Paul Chan, who suggested “If you bet against the Hong Kong dollar, you are bound to lose.”

All these showed a strong determination to show Hong Kong is shining brighter than ever, according to John Lee after concluding a successful and happy Rugby 7 tournament over the weekend.

The show has not just stopped there. With a rebooting of Hong Kong, it makes much sense for the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR to make a purchase at Mont Rouge in Beacon Hill for HK$508 million, the highest among first-hand properties in Kowloon at a whopping HK$70,000 per square feet.
According to the Land Registry, it is a five-bedroom house of 7,171 square feet with a 5,015 square feet garden, 1,306 rooftop and three parking spaces developed by Kerry Properties.

Let the music play and people get in front, not behind.

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EJ Insight writer