Our speaker today was Mr. David O’Rear, Chief Economist of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and his topic was “HONG KONG THIS YEAR AND NEXT”.
Some forecasts of Mr. O’Rear’s:
- The US likely will not have a Debt Crisis, so the Dollar / RMB Rate is not likely to RMB 5 : USD 1 by 2012
- Hong Kong will continue to be the sole contender for the title of both Asia’s premier business and financial centre, and the world’s third financial centre, after London and New York.
- We expect real economic growth to rise by about 5% in 2011, and slightly faster in 2012 as world demand, particularly in the US and EU, begin to show signs of strong recovery and unemployment rates in those markets decline further.
- Inflation in HK will be the problem, rising at least 4.5% this year and some 5-6% in 2012, perhaps even up to 8% if the dollar continues to fall against the RMB.
- The housing bubble will burst, and will shave many percentage points off the stock market at the same time.
- HK’s underemployment and unemployment will begin to rise again this Summer as the costs and uncertainty of the poorly written Statutory Minimum Wage Law are fully absorbed.
- Work on the Competition Law will remain contentious, mainly due to the Administration’s poor understanding of the very fundamental differences between laws written for the EU and those that might be useful here in Hong Kong.
- Henry Tang and CY Leung will be the front-runners for HK Chief Executive. The race is too close to call, but neither is likely to remain in government if the other wins.
Rtn Michael Wan thanked the speaker and President Stephen presented a photo and a souvenir to Mr. O’Rear.
Sergeant at Arms Rtn David collected HK$1,626 for raffle and fines. Rtn Dirk’s guest won the raffle prize: a bottle of red wine.
The Presidential Inauguration Ball will be held on 8th July 2011 (Friday) at HK Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The Club 888 lucky draw Annual Dinner has been held on 5th May, all tickets were sold and we raised HK$444,000 for our club’s community service fund.
HK Sea School invited us to join their Buffet Lunch and to watch the International Dragon Boat Race on 6th June at their school.