Hong Kong’s financial chief expects city to be out of recession by end-2021

He expects Hong Kong to ride on Beijing’s five-year plan to stimulate domestic growth, which aims to achieve independence in science and tech.
By: | January 6, 2021

Riding on Beijing’s plan to stimulate domestic growth, Hong Kong should be out of recession by year-end, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po.

Chan said that the economy would receive its biggest support from China, noting the policies laid out by the country to stimulate domestic growth in its five-year plan that was adopted by the government in November.

The economic and social blueprint outlined by China will rely on the domestic market for growth, and make strides to achieve independence in science and technology, according to the released document. 

Should Hong Kong seize the opportunities arising from the plan, this would accelerate the recovery of the economy further, he added. To that end, Hong Kong should utilise its position as a finance and international trade hub, he said, according to South China Morning Post. 

While firms relying on tourism are to expect difficulties, the economic turnaround after two years of contraction could also be sped by a vaccination drive, which would contain the spread of COVID-19, Chan added.

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Hong Kong’s GDP has contracted for five consecutive quarters, shrinking 3.5% year-on-year in real terms in 3Q2020. GDP in 2019 meanwhile, declined by 1.2%. 

The city’s mass vaccination drive is expected to begin in February, in which the first million doses for 50,000 people will go to healthcare workers, caretakers for the elderly and people with disabilities, and residents aged 85 years and above.