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John Tsang To Deliver Hong Kong Annual Budget

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February 23
8:28 AM 2016

As Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah is scheduled to deliver Hong Kong fiscal budget on Wednesday, many are expected a surplus. However, Hong Kong still holds conventional approach in budget.

Hong Kong authority is predicted to still announce sweeteners to help businesses, especially for retail and tourism sector. As John Tsang have not indicated any new initiatives to support fundamental of economy beside the sweeteners.

Economists calculated a slow growth in fourth quarter to seasonally adjusted 0.1% to 0.9% from the previous quarter. While overall economy growth is expected to reach 2.3%, a little less that expected 2.4%

According to Reuters, chief financial John Tsang wrote in his official blog post on Sunday defending his stance on sweeteners. He said that while sweeteners may only account for 1% of Hong Kong's annual budget, they provide an important boost for the local economy and job market, and play an important "stabilising" role.

Meanwhile South China Morning Post insisted that John Tsang must find ways to invest in the future of Hong Kong. As a large surplus in Hong Kong budget, the government should be spending for long term benefit for the city. Amidst gloomy outlook of global economic, the financial secretary is under growing pressure to deliver budget to address the need of people.

John Tsang held the position of financial secretary of Hong Kong since 2007. His primary role is to help Hong Kong Chief Executive in financial, monetary, economic, trade and employment matters. In his eight previous budget, he always announced a safe and use conventional approach to fiscal budget.

However, South China Morning Post also reported that John Tsang still hold his conventional view rather than thinking outside the box. As his official blog post showed his strong stance on the sweeteners, saying that, "the relief measures had stimulated growth in times of economic woes."

Meanwhile Wall Street Journal columnist Craig Stephen wrote in Market Watch, "Hong Kong's government riches sits uncomfortably alongside a growing wealth divide. These budget surpluses come largely from property gains off the backs of just 7 million people, many who have faced record rents increases or have been left with no adequate housing at all."

He also noted a stagnant growth in tourism and retail industry may burden the city administration economy, along with capital outflows and a slowdown in stock market. He underlined the problem in Hong Kong budget as a big surplus with unhappy people.

People expected John Tsang to started thinking outside the box in Hong Kong budget announcement on Wednesday. However, in his ninth budget announcement, it seems he still holds his conventional view with the sweeteners to boost local economy and job market.

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