By AFIQ AZIZ / AFP PIC
THE Hong Kong (HK) Special Administrative Region (SAR) trading activity is likely to remain solid despite the prolonged social unrest in the country.
According to its former Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying, the region has been established with a lot of diversifying trading capabilities for decades.
He is confident that HK’s portfolio as the global economic hub will remain unaffected as it has a strong foundation to absorb the current turmoil.
“We are confident, not just to maintain the (existing) investment in HK but also the entire investment that is coming into (HK).
“We are an international financial services centre, global trade centre and also international transportation centre. In all of these and other areas, we are not just doing more of the same thing,” he told the press after a dialogue session with Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari and The Hong Kong Chinese Importers and Exporters in Shah Alam, Selangor, yesterday.
Leung said while HK is one of the leading countries producing pork in the world, the government is also developing its maritime services such as ports and desk-based services to cater to services relating to sail and the transaction of ships.
“There is a lot of impetus and momentum in HK economy system,” Leung said.
HK has been facing daily protests for nearly three months, opposing its leader Carrie Lam’s administration plan for introducing an extradition bill to the republic.
After millions of people took to the streets, Lam formally withdrew the bill on Sept 4.
Concerns were raised on HK’s economic capability, from investments and its tourism sector.
Last Monday, Reuters reported that HK visitor arrivals plunged nearly 40% in August from last year, deepening from July’s 5% fall as violent anti-government protests took a rising toll on the city’s tourism, retail and hotel businesses.
Citing industry sources, the report also stated that hotels in some locations had seen occupancy rates drop to about half, while room rates plunge 40% to 70%.
However, Leung maintained that the economic situation would not change much even if the protests continue.
“Obviously we need to tackle everyone that breaks the law. We have the rule of law and an independent judiciary. So whatever the motives are, those people will be brought to justice,” he said.
Also present in the meeting was state investment industry and trade, small and medium industries committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim.
Teng said Selangor is expected to attract investors from HK to set up their business at the industrial park which will be dedicated to the electronics and electrical (E&E) sector.
Teng said he met with the associations involved with E&E sector from HK and they have expressed interest to come in a group at the park to build the whole supply chain.
“This is the new trend that we are encountering now. We are offering this dedicated park for them so they will be attracted to come in, and then we could identify how much the investment they could bring in,” Teng explained.