Hong Kong should promote its brand-name products to the world

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 May, 2016, 5:10pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 May, 2016, 5:10pm

The Lion Rock spirit has been one of the core values of Hong Kong people for generations. It has enabled us to achieve the great socio-economic advances that transformed the city into a cosmopolitan financial centre in Asia.

Two decades have lapsed since the handover and now Hong Kong’s economy is depressed and no progress has been made on electoral reforms or improving people’s livelihoods.

According to the Census and Statistics Department, the value of total retail sales in January 2016 decreased by 6.5 per cent compared with the same month in 2015. One survey has cited reasons for this, including high shop rents, overdependence on mainland visitors and a change in their consumption patterns, from luxuries to daily necessities.

There have been calls from the retail sector for the individual travel scheme to be extended to more mainland cities. However citizens in more remote cities in China will have relatively weak consumption power. The Hong Kong government should invest more in education and subsidies to local entrepreneurs who have creative ideas. We should promote our own brand-name products to the world.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said Hong Kong should learn from Leicester City winning the English Premier League, with its unyielding and hardworking spirit, if we want to start a new era.

Leicester had Claudio Ranieri to lead them and we have Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. However, he has been criticised, and not just by the pan-democrats, for creating a tense relationship between the legislature and executive. He seems to be confrontational rather than seeking a compromise when it comes to opponents of his government.

Where he should have refrained from intervening as chief executive, he has become involved in disputes, for example, HKTV’s free-to-air licence application, and the controversy over the appointment of a pro-vice-chancellor for the University of Hong Kong.

Of course, he would disagree with those claims and put forward his own defence and he should use the Government House public relations office to do this. He has been in public service for decades and should understand the importance of conveying his genuine side to the public.

I hope the discussions that took place between various Hongkongers and the visiting chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Zhang Dejiang (張德江), will have a positive effect on the future of Hong Kong.

Dr Raymond Tam, principal, G. T. (Ellen Yeung) College