28 Oct 2009
The Six New Industries: A Roadmap for Hong Kong's Future?
- In the 2009/10 Policy Address, the Chief Executive unveiled new incentives, including accommodative regulations, land policy, financial incentives and human resources, to nurture six new industries namely, testing and certification, medical services, innovation and technology, culture and creative industries, environmental industry and education services.
- The aim is to broaden Hong Kong's economic structure which is dominated by four pillar industries, including financial services, trading and logistics, tourism, and producer and professional services, which together account for about 60% of GDP and nearly half of the total workforce.
- The move signifies a shift from the government's laissez faire economic policy, as the rapid rise of mainland China as an economic power presents both opportunities and challenges, the latter in the form of intense competition from cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen, to Hong Kong's traditional growth drivers.
- The change in economic dynamics would also have important implications for the labour market. From available statistics, job creation in the past decade was mainly concentrated in the trade, as well as the community, social and personal services sectors, while the less labour intensive financial service sector did not generate many jobs.
- Companies' growing business in the Mainland was also a major force in job creation opportunities. Over the last decade, about one-third of the 400,000 new jobs created were driven by serving businesses in the Mainland as many companies now use Hong Kong as a base to serve their Mainland operations. However, it is uncertain whether this mode of operation can be sustained in the longer-run.
- For instance, Hong Kong's trading and logistic sectors are facing intensified competition from the Mainland. These jobs may one day “move” to the Mainland, like factory jobs. It may be the reason why the Task Force on Economic Challenges has to look to the six new industries to boost employment and growth going forward.
Six New Industries to Drive Long-term Growth
The Chief Executive unveiled new incentives in the 2009/10 Policy Address, including accommodative regulations, land policy, financial incentives and human resources, in an attempt to nurture six new industries indentified by the Task Force on Economic Challenges to drive longer-term growth and broaden Hong Kong's economic structure.