HKSAR GDP doubled in past 25 years as central govt support boosts development: official
Published: Jun 19, 2022 10:10 PM
Victoria Harbour in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Photo: VCG

Victoria Harbour in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Photo: VCG

The economic development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has been steadily progressing in the past 25 years, thanks to the firm support of the central government and the country's stable development, HKSAR Finance Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said on Sunday.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

In a blog post on Sunday, Chan noted that the HKSAR has achieved remarkable development in the past 25 years, doubling its GDP to HK$2.86 trillion ($356.69 billion) in 2021 from HK$1.37 trillion in 1997, while total merchandise trade has tripled to over HK$10 trillion, ranking sixth in the world. 

Total employment has increased by 15 percent to about 3.65 million, and the number of enterprises choosing the special administrative region as their regional headquarters or regional offices has increased by 57 percent to nearly 4,000. 

Meanwhile, as one of the supporting pillar industries of Hong Kong, the financial sector, has been developing non-stop to meet demand, both locally and domestically, said Chan. For instance, Hong Kong's stock market has seen significant growth, with market capitalization increasing significantly by 12 times to over HK$40 trillion, and the number of listed companies increasing from over 600 to over 2,500.

The tremendous development has also benefited from Hong Kong's role as a bridge and testing ground linking the Chinese mainland with the world, as well as the dividends released by institutional innovation, said Chan.

The State Council appointed the principal officials of the sixth-term government of the HKSAR on Sunday, with Chan appointed to continue to serve as financial secretary. 

Amid the complicated global financial situation and high inflation following a recent US rate hike, international economic development will be affected and may further weaken Hong Kong's export growth momentum, according to Chan.

However, Hong Kong has a very strong buffer in response to the rate hike, with over HK$280 billion in interbank balances, while local banks are still healthy as to their liquidity positions, capital adequacy ratios and risk exposure to classified loans, Chan said on Thursday at a press briefing, adding that inflation in Hong Kong will remain moderate with an annual forecast of 2-2.1 percent.

Hong Kong's economy has also been recovering steadily from recent COVID-19 disruptions, with the unemployment rate in Hong Kong from March to May dropped 0.3 percentage points to 5.1 percent. 

Global Times