“ForeSight 2022” Opens as Top Political, Business and I&T Leaders Share Macroeconomic Outlook for SMEs to Grasp New Normal Trends and Create New Opportunities in Finance and I&T

(Hong Kong, 18 November 2021) The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) is hosting its signature event of the year “ForeSight 2022” at the HKPC Building from 18 to 19 November 2021. With “Dare to Innovate, Capture the Opportunities” as the theme this year, an ensemble of political, business and innovation and technology (I&T) heavyweights and industry leaders is sharing with the audience the upcoming market trends, outlook for I&T development and business opportunities with a forward-looking vision on four hot topics: macroeconomic outlook, challenges and opportunities in the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), reindustrialisation, and strategies on net zero carbon emissions.

“ForeSight 2022” opened today with “Macroeconomic Outlook: Opportunities under the Innovative Normal” as the theme of the first forum. Four heavyweight guest speakers, including the Honourable Bernard Chan, Convenor of the Non-Official Members of the Executive Council (ExCo) of the HKSAR; Mr George Leung, CEO of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC); Professor Francis Lui, Adjunct Professor, Professor Emeritus and University Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST); and Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC, shared their thoughts on Hong Kong’s macro economy and discussed how to help SMEs to turn challenges into opportunities under the new normal, grasp future economic trends, and support the focused efforts of the Policy Address 2021 to develop I&T into a driver of economic growth together with finance, creating a new economy with new technology.

Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC, said, “After two years of the epidemic, more and more companies are realising that under the ‘New Normal’ they need to improve their business models through I&T, and accelerate the investment of resources on developing smart manufacturing and digital transformation to enhance productivity and competitiveness, expand sustainable business, actively integrate into the overall national development, and make best use of Hong Kong’s advantages in international connections to successfully create more business opportunities on the road to recovery. HKPC is committed to providing all-round support for Hong Kong SMEs and startups. The ‘ForeSight Series’ was launched last year with top political, business and I&T leaders joining together to help local companies capture the essence of impending economic development and technology trends in the year ahead. In the future, HKPC will continue to provide support in technology, financing and talent development and work hand-in-hand with SMEs to accelerate digital upgrading and transformation and widen the use of technology, enhance operation and strengthen business sustainability so as to support the development of Hong Kong as an international I&T hub as set out under the national plan.”

The Honourable Bernard Chan, Convenor of the Non-Official Members of ExCo of the HKSAR, said, “Hong Kong being an international financial centre, the development of technology and other industries is an irreversible future trend, in order to complement the support of the Central Authorities for the city’s development as international I&T and aviation hubs, etc. Hong Kong should make good use of its R&D strengths and financing functions, actively think about how to create synergy with Shenzhen, further develop its I&T sector, and accelerate its integration into the national plan. As the Mainland’s customs and quarantine measures are expected to be relaxed, Hong Kong SMEs should gear themselves up for customs clearance in order to embrace new opportunities in trade and tourism, and help the economy to return to a steady upward path.”

Mr George Leung, CEO of HKGCC, said, “With Hong Kong’s success in keeping COVID-19 at bay and our vaccination rate increasing, we expect a significant economic rebound in 2021. The biggest impediments facing local companies in the past year have been the severe limits on cross-border travel and social-distancing measures. We hope to see a progressive easing of these restrictions before the Lunar New Year holiday, which will help facilitate a return to normalcy for many of the city’s smaller businesses. SMEs would also benefit from more funding support to upgrade their technological capabilities, so they can better compete in a digitally driven landscape as the pandemic threat recedes.”

Professor Francis Lui, Adjunct Professor, Professor Emeritus and University Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics of HKUST, said, “Just seven days in the mountains and the world has passed a thousand years. The epidemic in the last two years has seen an effective barrier separating Hong Kong from the Mainland. Looking back, the popularisation of high tech in the Mainland has taken deep root during the period. Hong Kong has already lagged behind. But this also implies that there is room for Hong Kong to catch up, which can help raise productivity in Hong Kong and its GDP as a result.”

“ForeSight Series” is a platform set up by HKPC since last year featuring top political, business and I&T leaders to help local companies capture the essence of impending economic development and technology trends in the year ahead which has been warmly received. To recap, the first “ForeSight 2022” forum, please visit the website: https://foresight2022.hkpc.org.

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“ForeSight 2022” opened today with a forum on “Macroeconomic Outlook: Opportunities under the Innovative Normal” discussing the outlook for Hong Kong’s macro economy in the year ahead. The forum’s heavyweight guest speakers, including the Honourable Bernard Chan, Convenor of the Non-Official Members of ExCo of the HKSAR (second from left); Mr George Leung, CEO of HKGCC (first from left); and Professor Francis Lui, Adjunct Professor, Professor Emeritus and University Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics of HKUST (third from right), joined Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC (third from left); Mr Mohamed Butt, Executive Director of HKPC (second from right), and the forum’s emcee media veteran Mr Vincent Wong (first from right) for a group photo before the start of the forum.“ForeSight 2022” opened today with a forum on “Macroeconomic Outlook: Opportunities under the Innovative Normal” discussing the outlook for Hong Kong’s macro economy in the year ahead. The forum’s heavyweight guest speakers, including the Honourable Bernard Chan, Convenor of the Non-Official Members of ExCo of the HKSAR (second from left); Mr George Leung, CEO of HKGCC (first from left); and Professor Francis Lui, Adjunct Professor, Professor Emeritus and University Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics of HKUST (third from right), joined Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC (third from left); Mr Mohamed Butt, Executive Director of HKPC (second from right), and the forum’s emcee media veteran Mr Vincent Wong (first from right) for a group photo before the start of the forum.