(English version included)
香港經濟增長放緩早在今年第一季已有跡象，當時未有示威浪潮。而最近香港大學香港經濟及商業策略研究所及中銀香港資深經濟研究員王春新等的研究機構把香港全年本地生產總值預測下調至約1.7% – 1.8%，但主要與中美貿易戰有關，在報告並沒有提到示威活動的影響。若未來香港經濟失速加劇甚至衰退，其成因必與政府漠視法治精神、濫用制度暴力、損害國際投資者信心有關。
This is a statement from professionals in the financial sector in Hong Kong:
The controversial Extradition Bill has triggered city-wide opposition in Hong Kong since June. Constant large-scale demonstrations occurred and organisations from different industries have voiced their shared concerns. In July, suspected triad members beating local citizens with missing police response caused further outrage and condemnation from the mass public. Trust and relationship between the police and citizens deteriorated further after witnessing the extremely biased law enforcement on citizens and lack of any serious enforcement on suspected triad members. According to the latest poll conducted by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute, most citizens have an unprecedented crisis of confidence in “One country, Two systems” and the rule of law. There has already been a surge in capital outflow from Hong Kong. It is imperative that the Government to address the citizens’ concerns urgently.
It has been repeatedly reiterated internationally that the status of Hong Kong’s special political economy independent of China is based on the effectiveness of “One country, Two systems”. The failure of such will wipe away various international concessions tied to that status. Moody’s has also stressed that the importance of “one country, two systems” is the crucial reason why Hong Kong can maintain a better credit rating than of mainland China. If the situation continues to deteriorate, Hong Kong will lose its financial advantages as an international financial centre and have long term repercussions on Hong Kong’s economy.
Earlier this week at a press conference, Financial Secretary Mr. Paul Chan warned that Extradition Bill protests would hit Hong Kong economy. The government’s statement is misleading and placing the blame on protesters is irresponsible and unacceptable.
Hong Kong’s economy has already shown signs of a slowdown in the first quarter of this year whereas the first demonstration begun in late second quarter. Recently, the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy of the University of Hong Kong and Wang Chunxin, senior economic researcher of Bank of China Hong Kong, have lowered Hong Kong’s annual GDP forecast to 1.7% – 1.8%, mainly due to the US-China trade war. The report did not mention any impact caused by the protests. However, the Government’s continued selective disregard of the law, abusive use of institutional violence, and negative sentiment by the international investment community will be real reason for any economic deterioration down the road.
Finally, with the current turmoil triggered by the proposed Extradition Bill, and subsequent attacks by triad members in various local communities, society and families of the police force alike would like a just investigation to resolve the current social issues. The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC)’s independency reputation is questionable at best and lacks public trust. Allegations of 「foreign forces」 meddling in recent events with no actual supporting evidence is unhelpful. On that basis, society and various industry sectors demand that a neutral and recognised independent investigation committee to be set up to uncover the truth and responsible parties, so that Hong Kong can return to the right track as soon as possible.
We solemnly condemn the government’s selective use of economic data in an attempt to deceive the public from its mistakes and divisive statements.
For the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong, the five demands are indispensable. The government needs to respond as soon as possible. Otherwise, the financial industry would be left with no choice but to escalate our actions with other industrial sectors of our society!
The above is a joint declaration from the groups: [銀行業]香港金融業同路人 and 香港金融同路人 (As of 7 August 8:00am, two groups consist of 9,622 professionals from the financial sector.)