Having long resisted calls for a summit on Hong Kong's economy, the government has given in to political parties' demands. Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen was quoted yesterday as saying it would host such a summit to allow politicians, academics, business and labour groups to air their views about how to solve Hong Kong's economic problems and cut the government's budget deficit. The government has not been keen in the past on holding such a gathering for fear it could undermine its own authority to in managing the economy. Mr Tang has been in Cancun for the World Trade Organisation ministerial conference. Before he left Mexico, TVB quoted him as saying that the government would invite figures from different sectors to participate in a large-scale conference next month, where their views would be sought on how to address the city's economic problems. Political parties have argued in favour of holding such a forum so officials can consult the public's representatives about, and reach a consensus on, measures to reverse Hong Kong's economic downturn. Yeung Sum, chairman of the Democratic Party, one of those which has called for such a summit, welcomed Mr Tang's acceptance of the idea. 'Having a summit where everybody could be consulted could [make government economic policies more acceptable to] the public,' he said. Francis Lui Ting-ming, a professor of economics at the University of Science and Technology, is among the academics who will meet Mr Tang on Friday. He said the use of such a conference remained to be seen. 'It all depends on how the government balances the views expressed,' he said. Next month, the financial secretary will unveil his philosophy on public finance to legislators. He has already said there will be no room for tax cuts. He has also floated the idea of issuing bonds backed by public infrastructure assets to bolster the government's reserves, depleted by deficit budgets. He told TVB: 'When you lack money and need to borrow, you need a sound reason for doing so. 'I believe infrastructure is a sound reason for issuing bonds.' Mr Tang was keen to stress that a bond issue would not be intended to cover the surging deficit.