Hong Kong in period of transition, says Standard Chartered

Gloom, gloom, gloom as we hear yet another prediction of difficult times ahead for Hong Kong. But at least KC Kwok, an economist with Standard Chartered, sees a bright long-term future for the SAR.

In the face of a global economic slowdown, Standard Chartered has lowered its 2001 gross domestic product GDP forecast for Hong Kong from 3% to 2%. At a press briefing, the bank's regional chief economist KC Kwok says the change in the prediction was largely driven by the impact the slowdown, particularly in the United States, has had on Hong Kong trade.

The US is not in recession but growth has slowed quite dramatically year-on-year falling from 4% for the first half in 2000 to 1% this year, Kwok says. Corporate America has contracted, but so far the consumer and property markets have been resilient and shielded the economy from an outright decline.

Despite...

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