Hong Kong to spend $15.4B to stabilize virus-ravaged economy – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-02-24 02:56:56 –

Hong Kong (AP) — Hong Kong will introduce HK $ 120 billion ($ 15.4 billion) in supporting financial measures …

Hong Kong (AP) — Hong Kong spends HK $ 120 billion (15.4 billion) on financial measures to support businesses and residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic for economic growth later this year following the 2020 recession. Dollar) will be introduced.

Hong Kong’s finance minister, Paul Chan, said in a budget speech Wednesday that measures such as tax cuts, unemployed lending and consumer vouchers are aimed at stabilizing the economy. He predicts economic growth this year will be 3.5% to 5.5%, compared to a 6.1% economic contraction in 2020.

The 2021 budget “is aimed at alleviating the difficulties and pressures caused by the recession and epidemic,” said Chan.

Unemployed residents can get a loan up to HK $ 80,000 ($ 10,300) with a program that defer payments for the first year and charge 1% interest. This measure came after Hong Kong reported an unemployment rate of 7% between November and January last week, the highest since April 2004.

Vouchers worth HK $ 5,000 ($ 645) will also be issued to residents in installments to promote consumption. Companies and individuals are also tax-reduced.

Mr Chang said Hong Kong’s budget deficit was record high after the government spent HK $ 300 billion ($ 38.7 billion) last year on support measures such as cash distribution to residents and wage subsidies to businesses.

He also said that the economy of mainland China is “basically healthy” despite uncertainties from epidemics and Sino-US relations. Hong Kong, as a semi-autonomous Chinese city, will benefit from now on.

“In the medium term, Hong Kong will continue to benefit from the continued development of the mainland and the shift of the global economy from west to east,” said Chan.

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