Good morning, principal, teachers and fellow schoolmates,
I am Angel Chan from class 5D. Whenever we talk about the economic and commercial development of Hong Kong, what picture would you have in mind? The overwhelming crowd of tourists which we see in local tourist spots? Or the shops which flourish on the streets? No matter what picture floats in your mind, I’m sure that everyone agrees that we have been celebrating a boom in our economic and commercial development in these years.
As the world’s eleventh largest trading entity, with the total value of imports and exports exceeding its GDP, Hong Kong is the world’s largest re-export centre. Much of Hong Kong’s exports consist of re-exports, which are mostly products made in mainland China and distributed via Hong Kong. Our physical location has allowed us to establish a transportation and logistics infrastructure that includes the world’s second busiest container port and the airport for international cargo. Even before the transfer of sovereignty, we had established extensive trade and investment ties with the mainland, which now enable us to serve as a point of entry for investment flowing into the mainland. Coupling with our signing of CEPA with the mainland government in 2003, we have seen a remarkable boom in our economy.
It is undeniable that we have not always had a smooth-running development in economy. Many of you, I believe, can still recall the gloom of the SARS outbreak in 2003. Not only did many Hongkongers lose their lives in this pandemic, but our economy was traumatised. In these twenty years, we have survived through some major financial crisis, including the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and the most recent sub-mortgage crisis in 2008, we have managed to recover every time. Looking into these revival, it’s easy to discover that the three pillars that our economy was built upon are always what help us to be back on track, which are our reliable legal system, low taxation and free trade. These pillars, when coupling with our positive non-interventionism policy in economy, are the driving force of our continuous development and contribute to our status as the world’s leading financial centre.
With the flourishing economy, we cannot overlook the problems entailed. Overcrowding, a deteriorating quality of life and skyrocketing property prices are what troubling us. However, I believe we can overcome all these given we are all willing to join hands together to build Hong Kong a better place.