Mr YUEN Mo (Chairman of the 52nd terms of office) Ferbruary 2022
No doubt challenges will remain in the Year of the Tiger, but opportunities also abound. The fundamentals of the Chinese economy remain unchanged, so Hong Kong must make the most of its strengths and embrace all new opportunities.
On behalf of CGCC, I would like to wish you a vigorous and successful Year of the Tiger with abundant business opportunities!
I believe everyone, including myself, is eager for the pandemic to end, for the borders to reopen, and for everything to go back to normal. The full implementation of the “patriots administering Hong Kong” principle and good governance will provide new soil for our society to grow in stability and harmony. In the new year, I am confident that the development of Hong Kong will see a new horizon as long as we work in solidarity and capitalize on our country’s robust development.
United effort against the pandemic, stronger support for the affected
To combat the fifth wave of the COVID-19 outbreak which has come raging, the HKSAR government has rolled out preventive measures in a swift, methodical and unwavering manner. It has also quickly started the new round of the Anti-epidemic Fund to provide immediate relief for affected sectors and individuals. The current development of the outbreak suggests that it will likely take some time before the situation will come under complete control. It is therefore important that the government should provide the affected sectors with timely and specific support.
The Central Government’s comprehensive and concrete support for Hong Kong’s response to the epidemic and arrangement for the governments of Guangdong, Shenzhen and Hong Kong to jointly contain the epidemic have undoubtedly given Hong Kong’s anti-epidemic efforts a shot in the arm. Moreover, the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government have made special arrangements to ensure the supply of food and daily necessities in order to safeguard the stability of supplies to Hong Kong. CGCC is truly grateful to our motherland for its care and full support for Hong Kong and is convinced that given the Central Government’s assistance, Hong Kong will be able to effectively put the epidemic under control at the earliest time so that economic activities and people’s lives can return to normal.
We do hope that once the outbreak has been contained, the HKSAR government will map out the detailed arrangements for quarantine-free traveler clearance with the Mainland authorities, and consider launching another round of the electronic consumption voucher scheme. Meanwhile, the new Budget can look into expanding support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by such means as enhancing the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme. To relieve the burden on businesses, especially SMEs, the government can try to help them in terms of operational costs, such as by reducing various fees levied on companies and offering them rental subsidies.
Most certainly, the HKSAR government needs to further promote vaccination to the public and go all out to boost the vaccination rate. One way to do so is to roll out facilitative measures, such as outreach vaccination programmes for the elderly and school children and sending medical staff to conduct vaccination at schools.
Positive executive-legislative interaction and increased efficiency
Last month, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive, attended the first Chief Executive’s Question and Answer Session in the LegCo to exchange views with the LegCo Members on economic development, livelihood improvement and strengthened anti-epidemic efforts. A new atmosphere in which the executive and legislative bodies interacted cordially has emerged.
Benefiting from the positive atmosphere, as well as the diverse backgrounds of the new LegCo Members, the HKSAR government is encouraged to actively collect the views of different social strata and sectors, so that it can device policies and measures that will better address our city’s needs in social and economic developments. We expect to see a strengthened executive-legislature relationship and elevated efficiency at the LegCo.
Under the new paradigm, the Chief Executive proposed the reorganization of policy bureaus by setting up new ones and rationalizing the work of all to facilitate better communication and coordination, and above all, to achieve policy innovation and effective governance. We agree that the splitting and restructuring of the existing policy bureaus will allow them to focus on their respective tasks. Ultimately, it will raise the overall efficiency of policy implementation.
No doubt challenges will remain in the Year of the Tiger, but opportunities also abound. President Xi Jinping has emphasized that the fundamentals of the Chinese economy – characterized by strong resilience, enormous potential and long-term sustainability – remain unchanged, and that he has every confidence in the future of China’s economy. This reassures us that Hong Kong’s economic development will continue to receive solid support. For the part of Hong Kong, it must make the most of its strengths and embrace all new opportunities. Domestically, it should continue to uphold anti-epidemic measures and resolve livelihood problems. It is also important to foster the development of the Northern Metropolis and industrial diversification, so as to create more room for development for Hong Kong in the long run.