According to the most optimistic forecasts, Hong Kong's economy might be back on a recovery track as soon as late 1999. But many are not content with sitting back and letting Lady Luck run her course. In a rare display of unity, different sectors have joined in a bid to instil a 'feel-good' factor in the SAR. The campaign is set to begin on December 6 and aims to generate positive market sentiment and stimulate domestic consumption ahead of Christmas. Under the banner 'Hong Kong Together', about a dozen major trades and professions have committed to boosting public confidence. Citizens and tourists can expect a wide spectrum of treats and bargains over the next few months to usher in the Year of the Rabbit. Free movies, lucky draws at more than 300 restaurants, special offers at 600 shops in 23 shopping malls, and hotel rates at 75 per cent discounts are among the incentives on offer. The patron of the campaign, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, will officiate at the opening ceremony at Happy Valley along with Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan Fang On-sang. This arrangement is in itself deemed a show of solidarity, in the light of persistent press rumours that the pair has not been seeing eye to eye. Five thousand guests and the media will also be present. The event coincides with the opening of the Asian Games in Bangkok. Activities are to be held to demonstrate the community's support for local athletes bearing the SAR's Bauhinia flag for the first time in the tournament. On Thursday, thousands of students will take part in a wall-painting exercise at the Hong Kong Sports Institute's spectator stand in a colourful message of support for the team. The 'Hong Kong Together' scheme was first mooted by a few in the entertainment business last August. It has snowballed into a territory-wide effort reminiscent of the Hong Kong Festivals of the 1970s in fostering a civic spirit and a sense of belonging. But whereas the Hong Kong Festivals were a government response to a political crisis in the wake of the riots in the late 60s, 'Hong Kong Together' is a voluntary community initiative. The Government jumped on board after the campaign started to take shape. Cathay Pacific is joining in the celebration, by holding a competition to create an aircraft livery design that captures the spirit of the Hong Kong people. Activities including contests, carnivals and exhibitions and cultural performances will be staged in schools and in each of the 18 administrative districts. Academic seminars and public forums will be held for ideas to raise the competitiveness of Hong Kong's industries in general, and the small- and medium-sized enterprises in particular. Other activities are being co-ordinated by the Better Hong Kong Foundation, a private think-tank founded by a group of tycoons before the handover. The Hong Kong Jockey Club has even scheduled a 'Hong Kong Together' cup race on January 17 next year. In a conciliatory move, employers and employees in individual trades are poised to announce a communique of mutual understanding, under which employers vow to refrain from dismissing their workers or slashing wages and benefits. In return, workers pledge not to put further financial burdens on the management. Other sectors, ranging from the legal fraternity to religious bodies, are also poised to jump on the bandwagon. 'Hong Kong Together' is built on the premises of breaking down social divides. If things go as planned, it could mark the beginning of a new chapter in showing how Hong Kong can exert itself in difficult times.