Wed, Jul 02, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Letter

A remedy for Hong Kong

What Hong Kong needs is to establish its inner strengths to speed up the development of its economy.

Chinese Premier Wen Jia-bao (溫家寶) recently visited Hong Kong for the first time after becoming premier. He brought a special gift -- a package of special policies for Hong Kong now that the SARS epidemic has been brought under control. Hong Kong's government looks like an intensive-care patient who's receiving a lot of leeches. Of course Wen's package will promote economic development for Hong Kong in some areas. But how to develop the economy and build up core competition based on the territory's inner forces is the big question.

Hong Kong has lots of advantages compared to China and other Asian countries. However the government of Hong Kong has yet to find the right ideas and methods to improve the economy. So many companies from Taiwan have developed their businesses in China and made huge amounts of money there, even though they have not received any special favors or policies from Beijing. Why Hong Kong's government remains focused on getting special policies from China is a mystery.

We can expect that the special policy delivered by Wen will promote the development of trade and business in some areas. But it cannot radically change the weak environment of the territory's economy. It cannot improve the structure of its economy.

Hong Kong's government should learn something from the governments of Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Hong Kong should establish its own core competitive forces. Hong Kong has strong support from China, but there is no reason it cannot find its own strong engineers to boost its economic recovery. There are many ideas and methods. It depends on whether the Hong Kong government can accept such suggestions and realize the ideas and plans.

Mark Idea

Taipei

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