HKSAR gov't finance chief appeals for putting aside conflicts, focusing on economy

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/6/15 11:00:22

Photo taken on June 22, 2016 shows a view of the Victoria Bay in Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua/Qin Qing)

Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government Paul Chan on Sunday appealed to relevant people to put aside conflicts and focus on the region's economic development.

In an online article, Chan said Hong Kong's unemployment rate, which hit 5.2 percent in April, will further increase and even likely surpass the worst-case scenario witnessed during the global financial crisis in 2009.

The number of the unemployed may reach a record high in 15 years, he added.

Under such circumstances, any recurrence of violent acts will deprive the small and medium-sized enterprises of a respite, he said, stressing that for employees, what is the most important now is securing their jobs.

He expressed the hope that conflicts can be put aside at the present and people can focus on addressing economic difficulties so as to let residents who have seen their incomes decreasing and firms who have suffered financial hardship have opportunities to survive.

Chan said tranches under the new budget, which are worth over 120 billion Hong Kong dollars (15.4 billion U.S. dollars) and two rounds of anti-epidemic funds of more than 160 billion Hong Kong dollars (20.6 billon U.S. dollars) are being handed out to targeted sectors and groups.

With the COVID-19 outbreak under control, Hong Kong residents have begun to resume their daily activities, Chan said, adding that from the beginning of July, most eligible Hong Kong permanent residents will receive a cash handout of 10,000 Hong Kong dollars (1,290 U.S. dollars).

These measures are expected to stimulate consumer market, he said.

Chan said Hong Kong residents could not travel abroad or to the mainland for quite a long time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which however will benefit local consumption, together with the promotions of banks and shopping malls.


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