FINANCIAL Secretary (財政司司長) John Tsang Chun-wah (曾俊華) defended the Hong Kong economy on his blog on Sunday after credit rating agency Moody’s (穆迪) downgraded the SAR.
The agency lowered the outlook from stable to negative because of what it saw as increasing political risks and Hong Kong’s close economic links to the mainland.
But Tsang, saying such thinking was hard to understand, argued that Hong Kong has a perfectly solid economic foundation, an internationally compatible financial monitoring system, well-regulated banking, and a healthy fiscal position to help face different challenges that could loom in the future.
He also pointed to an International Monetary Fund (國際貨幣基金組織 ) survey in January, which noted advantages that the SAR enjoyed as it talked of expectations of economic growth in 2016.
Tsang went on to emphasise that the SAR has considerable autonomy under the one country, two systems policy.
“I firmly believe the SAR is facing a Chinese opportunity instead of Chinese risk,” he wrote.
Tsang also pointed out that the economies of Hong Kong and the mainland are inexorably linked. He highlighted the fact Hong Kong drove much of China’s manufacturing and foreign trade in the initial stages of reform and opening to the world at large. On that, Tsang said, Hong Kong took techniques and talent as well as capital to China by moving factories into the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone (珠江三角洲經濟區 ) while serving as a bridge to the world market.
The economic downturn risk in China was not unique, Tsang said, as some advanced economies have been performing sluggishly while some emerging economies have gone into recession.
(This article is published on The Student Standard on 16 March 2016)
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