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Budget Speech
  Budget Speech
  Consolidating our Recovery, Rising to the Challenges

14.    Although our economy is back on an upswing and the fiscal position of the Government has improved, we are still faced with many challenges.  Being highly externally-oriented, our economy is very sensitive to outside factors such as oil prices, fluctuations in US dollar exchange and interest rates, the pace of the Mainland's economic growth and changes in its policies.  The development of the Mainland has also emerged as a strong competitive force for Hong Kong , threatening even some of our industries which had long had an edge over our competitors, such as logistics.  Furthermore, increasing globalisation has a continuous impact on our strengths.  There are also potential problems in the local economy.  For example, unemployment in certain industries remains high, our economy is undergoing adjustment and the problem of the structural deficit has yet to be resolved.  On the other hand, as our economy continues to improve, we must assiduously monitor inflation and property price movement, so as to avoid a major increase in business costs.

15.    In the face of these challenges, we cannot afford to let our guard down.  Instead, we should constantly try to innovate and seize every opportunity.  For the Government's part, we will uphold the principle of 岞arket Leads, Government Facilitates? and actively promote economic growth by facilitating the development of the market and providing a favourable platform for the business community.

16.    We will continue our efforts to secure more favourable market access for local enterprises and to protect the lawful rights of Hong Kong businessmen.  We will maintain a healthy social system and a business-friendly environment.  We will provide essential services and facilities, for example by investing in infrastructure and providing assistance to meet the basic needs of socially-disadvantaged groups.  Moreover, we will persevere with rigorous control of expenditure and allow the private sector more room to expand.

17.    Promoting social stability and the economic development of Hong Kong will continue to be the key theme of this year's Budget. In striving to improve our business environment, we will encourage fair competition, foster economic co-operation with the Mainland, assist Hong Kong enterprises to access the Mainland market, enhance the competitiveness of our financial, logistics and tourism industries, improve training and attract more talent. I hope that these measures will help create an environment in which enterprises can thrive and give full rein to their creativity, and so raise Hong Kong's competitiveness as a knowledge-based economy. Boosting the economy will also provide us with more opportunities to realise our potential and upgrade our standard of living.



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2004 | Important notices
Last revision date : 16 March, 2005