This undated photo shows a panoramic view of the financial area in Hong Kong. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Speaking on Wednesday, Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region called on the whole community to cherish their home and end the chaos that has pushed the SAR economy into recession.
Highlighting that it is the months of violence and vandalism in the SAR that is the underlying cause of its economic woes, the Hong Kong Tourism Board reported on Wednesday that the total number of tourist arrivals in the city plummeted by almost 40 percent in the second half of 2019 compared with the same period the year before.
The priority for the SAR government remains ending the violence and restoring public order, without which there is no hope of Hong Kong's economy rebounding
The lack of patrons has seen a growing number of shops and restaurants shuttered, with the business closures resulting in rising unemployment and the consequent financial woes for those who have lost their jobs.
In response to the complaints of the business community about the deteriorating business environment and persistent uncertainties in both the local and global economies, the SAR government has announced four rounds of relief and stimulus measures in five months. Worth billions of dollars, they are aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as needy residents, survive the current crunch. Hong Kong is well-known for maintaining abundant financial reserves for "rainy days" like these.
But while this helping hand will be welcome to those who it supports through the difficult times, it should be kept in mind that the best way to end the economic downturn is to ensure all growth engines run as smoothly as possible. And the best way to ensure they do that is to restore calm and order in the SAR. No matter how resilient the Hong Kong economy is, it is not impervious to the blows being deliberately inflicted on it.
The relief and stimulus measures rolled out by the government will help the economy and residents weather the storm. But the economy won't fully recover until the social unrest stops and public order is restored. Upholding the rule of law is the essential foundation for realizing residents' aspirations for a brighter future.
The priority for the SAR government remains ending the violence and restoring public order, without which there is no hope of Hong Kong's economy rebounding.
From the small fishing village in South China to the international metropolis it is today, the development of Hong Kong has been linked to that of the Chinese mainland.
While the central government's decision to develop the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area provides the means for Hong Kong to break through the development bottlenecks it faces now and consolidate and expand its advantages, without a harmonious and stable environment it will be unable to make the most of the fresh opportunity that has been presented to it.
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