Hong Kong leader hopes to prove financial hub back on track

  • China
  • Wednesday, 22 Jan 2020

HONG KONG: For Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam (pic), this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos is a chance to convince global business and political leaders that the Asian financial hub is back on track.

After more than seven months of turmoil, Hong Kong’s status as a financial centre has come under scrutiny as sometimes violent demonstrations paralysed parts of the city and forced businesses to close, posing the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he took power in 2012.

Lam and “Team HK”, including its trade secretary, top officials from the stock exchange, airport authority, MTR Corp and the head of Swire Group, are in the Swiss mountain resort two days after another violent clash, with more planned for the weekend of her return.

“The biggest concern for foreign investors is around the long-term position of Hong Kong as a global financial centre,” said Benjamin Quinlan, chief executive officer of Quinlan & Associates.Phill Hynes, head of political risk and analysis at ISS risk, said: “By summer we’ll witness deeper political conflict within society, coinciding with crippling economic actions and growing disenfranchisement of working and middle classes.

“2020 will not be the year Hong Kong heals, it will be the year it festers and becomes inflamed.” — Reuters

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