Hong Kong’s Storm Before The Calm
Reports that Hong Kong’s recent trials will permanently dethrone the city as Asia’s financial hub may be overplayed
To say that Hong Kong has endured a challenging year would be an understatement. But while the city continues to face certain struggles and uncertainty, its ability to continue serving as Asia’s pre-eminent financial hub should not be discounted.
The mainland government’s introduction of a new national security law has dominated headlines over the last few months, with speculation mounting over its long-term economic impact. US President Donald Trump’s move to end preferential trade treatment for the city, coupled with new US sanctions targeting individuals Washington believes have undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy, has only serve to muddy the waters further.
Predictions abound that the Hong Kong economy will enter a tailspin and the city will be permanently dethroned as a business mecca. These predictions ignore two major issues, however, irrespective of ideological stance.
While the national security legislation has outraged foreign politicians, it may not alienate business in the long run. Business benefits from order and the status quo, both of which have been challenged by recent protests.
Moreover, the Hong Kong economy has slowly come to be overshadowed by the mainland Chinese economy, with Chinese companies investing heavily in the city. Continuing economic success for the mainland bodes well for the city’s future.