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Monday, Mar 27, 2023

HK Chief Exec aims to bolster prosperity, lure talent in policy address 

HK Chief Exec aims to bolster prosperity, lure talent in policy address 

Hong Kong leader John Lee Ka-chiu will on Wednesday deliver his inaugural policy address that is expected to focus on reviving the city’s credentials as an international business hub and on housing after extended Covid lockdowns and political upheaval.
Lee, a former career police officer with limited financial expertise, will have the challenging task of lifting Hong Kong’s regional competitiveness after its economy shrank 1.3 percent in the second quarter.

Covid-19 restrictions have hit the China-ruled city hard since early 2020, battering shops and restaurants, bringing tourism to a halt, and stoking an exodus of expatriates.

Lee, speaking to reporters on Tuesday, emphasized a need for Hong Kong to relaunch itself, citing a recent speech by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who said Beijing would help Hong Kong “resolve deep-seated issues and problems in economic and social development” and consolidate its “international position” in finance, trade and other areas.

“We are now embarking on a new chapter for further prosperity, and this is a new phase for Hong Kong,” Lee said.

“Hong Kong has emerged from chaos to order, and now we’re moving from order to prosperity,” added Lee, referring to pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019.

Beijing responded to the protests with a sweeping national security law in 2020, prompting an exodus of Hong Kong residents to countries including Britain, that offered “lifeboat” citizenship schemes in response to the law.
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