TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hong Kong’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have contracted by more than 3 percent during the second half of 2019 amid the months-long anti-government protests and U.S.-China trade conflict.
Edward Yau (邱騰華), secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong, made the gloomy forecast on television, reported the Sing Tao Daily. He described the domestic turmoil and dragging trade war as the two “storms” battering the Chinese semi-autonomous territory this year.
Other factors contributing to the city’s lackluster economic performance include the faltering status of the Hong Kong International Airport. Hong Kong should brace for a stagnant economy and rising unemployment rate after the Lunar New Year as more businesses collapse, he predicted.
In the latest of public measures to prop up the economy, the Hong Kong government announced on Sunday (Dec. 29) the establishment of a task force dedicated to assisting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The funds allocated to aid SMEs will be doubled from HK$2 million (US$257,000) to HK$4 million for each company, wrote HK01.