Chief Executive candidate Mrs. Regina Ip suggests the government create a Department of SME Development to provide one-stop services for SMEs, which would be beneficial to Hong Kong’s long-term economic development.
She made the suggestion at a meeting of Election Committee members from the Industrial (Second) subsector on 19 January.
She noticed Hong Kong started facing the challenge of industrial transformation when she was Director-General of Industry, but lamented: “Regrettably, the government support for the industrial sector, particularly support for SMEs, is still inadequate.”
During her service as Assistant Director-General of Trade, Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry and Director-General of Industry from 1980s to 1990s, she was responsible for European trade promotion and handled issues including anti-dumping, textile quota negotiations and rules of origin, thus having long-standing ties with the industry.
EC members attending the meeting complained that the current labour policy was delivered in a piecemeal manner and the core problem of labour shortage had been neglected.
“I agree on the need for labour importation,” said Mrs. Ip, “I have stated in my platform that Hong Kong’s economic development is being inhibited by two major bottlenecks: First, the lack of land hinders the development of industries in various ways. Second, we often encounter labour shortages. The government should strive to provide more land and strengthen local talents while drawing in quality talents from across the globe and allow importation of labour at an appropriate rate.’ I will push for that if I am elected.” Mrs. Ip promised.
The SMEs also expressed concern about the implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems”. “I have continuously communicated with the Central Government officials on this matter. I believe the Chief Executive has the responsibility to explain to our people how Hong Kong can leverage its advantages under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’. At the same time, the Chief Executive should truthfully inform the Central Government of our people’s views in order to resolve conflicts between Hong Kong and the Mainland and achieve social harmony.” Mrs. Ip responded.
“I am very thankful to President of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association Dr. Eddy Li for arranging this meeting for me to introduce my stance on issues ranging from MPF offsetting mechanism, retirement protection, social mobility for young people, education to land and housing problems.” Mrs. Ip said at the end of the meeting.
Mrs. Ip and her campaign team will continue to meet various parties and organizations to explain her policy platform and seek support.
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