HK economy at a crossroads

May 4, 2019

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau said Hong Kong’s economy is at a crossroads and the Government will spare no effort to reinforce the need for a more liberalising trade community globally.


Speaking to reporters after attending a radio programme today, Mr Yau said the first-quarter gross domestic product growth of 0.5% year-on-year suggested there are a lot of uncertainties ahead.


“I think the first quarter figures revealed that we are at the crossroad, i.e. while sentiment towards the general economic situation has slightly improved with easing of tension between the US and China over the trade dispute, export figures remain negative, we are still in the negative trend.”


He said economic performance depends on whether the Mainland and the US will come to an agreement on the trade dispute.


“Even if there is an agreement, whether that would bring a sharp return of economic performance would depend on (handling of) tariffs and on whether more fundamental issues between China and the US are being resolved by further trade negotiations or agreements.”


Hong Kong is currently suffering from the impact of the trade dispute, but it is also carefully looking at the way forward, Mr Yau said.


“For Hong Kong in particular, I think there should be no sparing of efforts in reaching out and going out and reinforcing the need for a more liberalising trade community globally.”


On tourism, Mr Yau said visitor arrivals might impact the livelihood of the community.


There is room for Hong Kong to improve its capacity for receiving tourists, he added.

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