Investors delay plans over violence

Local | Stella Wong 21 Oct 2019

Overseas investors have delayed their investment plans in Hong Kong over the recent violence and destruction of infrastructure, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said yesterday.

He also said the government is investigating the third round of relief measures for industries hit by the protests, including transport, food and beverage, tourism and retail.

In his blog yesterday, Chan said he recently attended the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group meeting. He explained in the meetings that the Hong Kong government would try its best to stop the violence and guarantee the free flow of capital.

"Business representatives said they believed the unique location and advantages of Hong Kong can bring them lots of investment opportunities, but the violent incidents and destruction of infrastructure have worried them and delayed their plans," Chan wrote.

Chan also said there was almost a consensus that the global economy is in a slowdown. If trade disputes and geopolitical situations worsen, the downward pressure on the global economy will further rise.

About 70 percent of economies have launched monetary-easing policies to counteract the unfavorable economic outlook, which coincides with the SAR's emphasis on introducing counter-cyclical measures. Chan also urged the banking industry to support local small and medium-sized enterprises in their cash flow demands.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the government acted "boldly with innovation" in the policy address to tackle long-standing problems.

"Many measures in the policy address require support from the Legislative Council. I hope lawmakers can consider the benefits of citizens and let work at the council roll forward smoothly," he said.

On the other hand, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee appealed for the public to stop the violence in her blog yesterday.

"I sincerely hope the public can cast aside differences and stop the violence, and let the SAR government implement different policies from the policy address and build our home that we all treasure," she said.

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