Hong Kong is ranked third in the 2019 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report released by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday, a big leap from its seventh place in last year’s ranking. The ranking announcement is undoubtedly welcome news at a time when the city is reeling from endless violent rampages by anti-government protesters. But it could offer little relief to Hong Kong people, who have been depressed by the escalating violence and are deeply worried about the city’s future.
In fact, the latest WEF competitiveness rankings may not reflect what is happening to Hong Kong now. There is always a time lag between the study and the announcement of results, especially for one involving 141 economies and lots of data. The destruction caused by so much civil unrest will probably be reflected in the 2020 report, with its competitiveness eroded by the on-going anti-government campaign.
The four-month-long protest campaign has seriously undermined Hong Kong’s rule of law, political stability and social harmony — things that weigh heavily when global investors make investment decisions
The four-month-long protest campaign has seriously undermined Hong Kong’s rule of law, political stability and social harmony — things that weigh heavily when global investors make investment decisions. This doesn’t bode well for Hong Kong, an international business center that relies heavily on international capital and investment.
Instability and unpredictability are among the biggest negative factors that concern investors the most. Already, there are signs of capital flight from Hong Kong to Singapore. Hong Kong does not enjoy an irreplaceable position now as a business center. Singapore offers largely the same benefits as Hong Kong, but also stability and predictability.
The fact that Singapore overtook the US, snatching the top spot in the WEF’s latest annual competitiveness report, reveals the Lion City’s great potential to win over international investors and to be the first choice of multinational companies for their regional headquarters.
The political radicals in Hong Kong, emboldened by their foreign patrons, have gone on the offensive against the SAR government, with the ultimate objective of seizing the governing power in the SAR. They are holding the city’s future and Hong Kong people’s well-being for political ransom by encouraging young people to indulge in violence and vandalism. The ringleaders and instigators behind the violent campaign have played all kinds of tricks to make as many youngsters as possible their unwitting pawns in their latest attempt to advance their agenda by exploiting young people’s impulsiveness, recklessness and frustration over social problems while keeping themselves away from the street fights and the legal consequences. Hong Kong people who care about the city’s future and their own well-being must do whatever they can to stop such wicked maneuvers.
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