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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:59pm

Li Ka-Shing

Often referred to as “Superman” in Hong Kong because of his business prowess, Li Ka-shing is the richest businessman in Asia, and chairs conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings, a property group. Li turned Cheung Kong Industries into a top property group, and Cheung Kong expanded to acquire Hutchison Whampoa in 1979 and Hongkong Electric in 1985. Li is a noted philanthropist and heads a charitable foundation that is a shareholder in Facebook.

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Financial secretary John Tsang dismisses Li Ka-shing's warning that Hong Kong is losing its edge

Financial secretary dismisses Li Ka-shing's warning city risks losing its edge. Li, meanwhile, says 'incapable people' jibe not aimed at CY Leung

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 March, 2014, 5:33am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 March, 2014, 9:07am

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah dismissed remarks by tycoon Li Ka-shing that the city's competitiveness is slipping, saying it is trying to develop higher- value-added services and move into new sectors.

It came as Li, Asia's richest man, sought to clarify comments he made after a post-earnings briefing on Friday.

Yesterday, Li said it was unfair to assume his remarks about the prevalence of "incapable people" in the city were directed at Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his government.

Li said on Friday that the gross domestic product of the city and Singapore were at similar levels in 1997, but that Hong Kong's per capita GDP was now about one-third lower than Singapore's.

But Tsang was adamant yesterday that the city's economy was still growing. "We're marching towards a higher-value-added level and we're doing that in different sectors," he said, without elaborating.

"At the same time, we're looking into new sectors that we would excel at, and we're doing very well."

He did not specify which sectors were being considered.

However, Tsang conceded there were still problems which needed to be resolved - including manpower and land supply - to improve the city's long-term development prospects.

Asked about Hong Kong's competiveness on Friday, Li said: "Capable people are not coming forward, but incapable people are fighting for the jobs."

Some interpreted that as a reference to Leung and his team as the "incapable people".

In response, Tsang said yesterday: "I don't see any situation like this [in the government]. It depends on the point of view."

Seeking to clarify his remarks yesterday, Li said: "It's unfair to Leung [to assume Li was referring to him]. He's doing his best too."

He added that incompetent people "complain but don't do anything helpful".

"There are many people like this in my company too," he said.

Li would not be drawn on his choice of a capable candidate to lead Hong Kong, but said there were many talented people in the city who could lead it to "a brighter future" - and give young Hongkongers a clearer direction for their careers.

He reiterated that mainland travellers were important to the city, and that the mainland was providing support to Hong Kong in many areas.

Li also noted that some media had been confused about his comments that foreign magazines, which he did not name, had underestimated his wealth by more than 40 per cent because they did not know he was majority owner of Canada's Husky Energy. This was the case over a decade ago, he said, but estimates of his wealth today were accurate.


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John Adams
"Yesterday, Li said it was unfair to assume his remarks about the prevalence of "incapable people" in the city were directed at Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his government."
Yes - that may indeed apply to CY Leung (who I personally believe is very capable)
But do LKS's remarks refer to John Tsang, who is probably THE most incapable top member of government ?
I think so !
The government's failure or reluctance to acknowledge the problem is the reason why so many current problems are left unresolved for long long time. They lack the guts and determination to fix problem and overcome objection. While our government is to be blamed, our legco councilors also need to shoulder their responsibility as most of them simply act as district councilor rather than one who takes care of the Hong Kong issue and put Hong Kong interest ahead of local district.
"I don't see anything like that in the government"?
What about a ridiculous man-made islands and potential roads linking places without automobiles to Central?
How about reclamation projects that provide government offices with harbour (I suppose the nee zoning makes them guranteed harbour views forever) views?
Ostrich Tsang and Ostrich CY Leung - a country cannot become excellent in a short period of time. Since you have stopped investing in education of children and English education, one is led to think that you are not doing anything but spending all your time defending (and that in not very smart manner). So sorry to see this.
this government is all about hardware, no software. No wonder there is no real investment in education. What a shame in a rich city!
not clear what industries they are looking at. You can't build excellence in any industry without significant investment over years. And, one key thing these people forget is knowledge and education. In this age, it is less about bridges and roads, and more about minds. But, guess what, HK is a land of real estate tycoons. .....real estate is HK's oil. For a glimpse into HK's future, look at the middle-east.
An example of Li's trying to put a weak defence because of self guilt.
I think Li is mocking Tsang and certain government officials...............Paul Chan comes to mind..........hahaahha...............
District Councillors can become Legislative Councillors....and Legislative Councillors can be appointed as Executive Councillors.....Our politicians are multi-tasking.....Multi- and overpaid for doing the same job.....Only in Hong Kong they say.


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