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Growth forecast fair: FS

February 24, 2016

The 1-2% economic growth envisaged in the 2016-17 Budget is a fair and proper forecast amid the divergence of views on Hong Kong’s economic prospects, Financial Secretary John Tsang says.


Speaking during a televised forum on his 2016-17 Budget tonight, he said the range of forecast this year was one percentage point while last year’s range was two.


He said the wider range of 1-3% last year was due to the expectation of a wider fluctuation in the economy.


Factors like possible changes in the US economy, recessions in Europe and problems besetting newly-developing markets may have effects.


On innovation and technology, he said funding is only part of the measures needed to nurture technological innovation, adding that other measures like manpower training also matter.


He said in implementing related measures, a technology-neutral principle should be considered by which he means whichever technology is used, it must comply with existing legislation. Another principle to be observed is the protection of consumer rights.


He called on the business community to make adjustments to keep pace with technological developments and discard dated business practices.


On ways to improve the elderly’s quality of life, he said money is not the only way to help seniors waiting for subsidised care homes as the issue also concerns manpower and site selection.