In the past, so the legend goes, Hong Kong feared nothing. Today, the city seems frozen by its obstacles. Can it change, once more?
In a recent commentary, I argued that, in the absence of a radical new growth strategy, Hong Kong is facing an eclipse. In a response, “Hong Kong’s strength lies in China’s weakness,” Jake Van Der Kamp argues that Hong Kong’s ageing population is not a major challenge; that the industrial base of the Chinese province of Guangdong is relatively low-tech; and as a result, further integration with it would not enhance Hong Kong’s growth prospects.
I beg to disagree on all three counts; big time. In each case, facts are pretty clear. In the past, Hong Kong benefited from China’s vulnerabilities. In the future, it must find a way to complement China’s strengths.