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HK witnesses strong economic growth
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-19 00:45

Robust economic growth in the past months has given Hong Kong bright prospects for economic recovery, said an economist from the special administrative region's government.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)'s gross domestic product (GDP) leapt 6.8 per cent in real terms in the first quarter of this year over a year earlier -- the highest growth in more than three years, Elley Mao was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying yesterday.

The second quarter is expected to witness double-digit GDP growth, the economist said.

There are clear signs of confidence, Mao said.

The barometer of Hong Kong's economy, the stock and real estate markets, are enjoying dynamic growth.

Thanks to the policy of allowing individual mainlanders to travel to the region, tourism became the fastest growing industry.

Hong Kong received 11.26 million tourists in the first six months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 68 per cent. Among them are 5.66 million from Chinese mainland, up 75 per cent year-on-year, according to the Xinhua report.

Industries including catering, entertainment, finance and exports were also those expanding fast.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's total employment has risen with the jobless rate declining from 8.7 per cent in the peak period of last year to 6.9 per cent in April-June period.

Economic indices have shown that Hong Kong's economy are in a stage of overall rebounding, Mao said.

Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa highlighted the significant role of central government policy in the region's economic growth.

He said the core sectors such as trade, logistics, tourism and finance played a key role in Hong Kong's economic recovery,and most of these sectors have a close relationship with the mainland.

Economic analysts are also confident of Hong Kong's economic recovery.

Hong Kong's economic atmosphere has improved a lot due to increasing of international trade and domestic demand and the trend of economic recovery will continue, said George Leung, chief economist of HSBC Bank.

According to a survey conducted by ACNielson, 62 per cent of Hong Kong people are confident that the region's economy will keep surging in the coming year.

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