Lawmakers across the political spectrum yesterday urged the government to focus on developing other sectors of the economy rather than concentrating on positioning the city as an international finance hub. Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's policy address was criticised for lacking concrete policies to counter the economic challenges ahead. The call for the shift came as the Legislative Council yesterday began its three-day debate on the motion of thanks for Mr Tsang's policy address, which was announced two weeks ago. Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the policy address did not touch on the city's other core areas such as tourism, transport and logistics. 'While reinforcing our position as an international finance centre, we should also develop other areas to provide more job opportunities,' Mr Tam said. 'We cannot afford for all other sectors to fail with the collapse of the financial sector.' The Democratic Party's Fred Li Wah-ming said Mr Tsang's insistence on maintaining Hong Kong as an international financial centre was short-sighted. 'We should broaden our vision and develop other aspects, because experience has taught us that solely relying on finance makes Hong Kong more vulnerable when there is an international financial crisis,' Mr Li said. Liberal Party chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee said the city should not rely on the financial sector and property markets. She urged the government to take the opportunity to divert resources to other areas. Business sector lawmakers also urged the government to come up with more concrete policies to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Jeffrey Lam Kin-fun, representing the General Chamber of Commerce, said measures announced in the policy address were inadequate. 'Businesses are closing down every day. To save them, the government must do more to help,' Mr Lam said. He also called for more infrastructure projects, which would create more jobs. Industrial-sector legislator Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen is planning to propose that Legco create a sub-committee to study the government's measures to help SMEs. Mr Leung predicted that about 20,000 Hong Kong businesses operating on the mainland would soon close. Unemployment rates were also expected to rise as more SMEs stopped operating, he said. The pro-democracy camp urged Mr Tsang to be more open when listening to their views. Emily Lau Wai-hing, of The Frontier, said Mr Tsang's failure to accept views from lawmakers had led to his government's failure to come up with effective solutions to soften the impact of the financial meltdown. 'The government makes rubbish policies and the 7 million people in Hong Kong have to shoulder the consequences,' Ms Lau said. She also doubted Mr Tsang's newly appointed financial taskforce would address the city's economic woes. Democrat Lee Wing-tat said Mr Tsang should stop ignoring the views of the pan-democrats, because they might provide valuable input to help the city deal with the meltdown.