September 18, 2023
HONG KONG – Hong Kong must intensify efforts to boost local market sentiment while strengthening its international connections to promote sustainable economic development, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said in his Sunday blog.
His remarks came after the launch of the city’s nightlife campaign and the success of the Belt and Road Summit.
The “Night Vibes Hong Kong” campaign, which kicked off on Thursday, offers discounts on evening movie tickets, live shows at multiple harbor-front sites, and regular events, such as the National Day fireworks.
“Activities that allow the public to participate together not only bring joyful shared memories to the citizens but also add a positive atmosphere and anticipation to the retail and catering market,” Chan said.
He said the external economic environment has not been ideal, and the local market also faces numerous challenges, adding that the special administrative region government has to adopt a “combination strategy” by unlocking potential demand in different areas and at various levels, utilizing the characteristics and ambiance of different festivals to energize the market.
According to the finance chief, the daily average number of visitors to the SAR rose to nearly 132,000 last month, representing over 80 percent of the pre-pandemic levels. It’s projected that airline capacity will also recover to approximately 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.
“In the coming months, several large-scale events will take place in Hong Kong, and we expect the number of visitors to continue to recover. Stimulated by a series of different themed events, we also anticipate the creation of new local consumption scenes and opportunities,” he said.
In boosting international ties, Chan said the eighth edition of the Belt and Road Summit held last week in Hong Kong highlighted the city’s pivotal role as a gateway in connecting the country with the world.
Chan also cited Vice-Premier Ding Xuexiang’s opening keynote speech at the gathering, which mentioned that Hong Kong should continue to leverage its own strengths and actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.
It’s hoped that Hong Kong will strive towards deepening regional cooperation, improving financial services, focusing on professional services, and enhancing cultural exchanges, according to Ding.
Apart from inviting people to visit Hong Kong, Chan said he embarked on his 10-day journey to Europe on Saturday to explore practical collaboration opportunities.
“In fact, areas such as green technology, green finance, artificial intelligence, life sciences and healthcare, as well as the Web 3.0, are all domains where Hong Kong and Europe can strengthen collaborative development,” he said.
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