HK Chief Executive Optimistic Aobut Economic Outlook

Tung Chee Hwa, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), foresaw an optimistic coming year for the Hong Kong public in his annual policy address delivered in Hong Kong Wednesday.

"In recent months, we have heard the encouraging news that many companies have started to give their employees a pay rise. This should soon show up as a trend. For salaried workers, next year will be a better year. The outlook is certainly optimistic!" Tung said.

He said, though Hong Kong is still recovering from the fallout of the Asian financial crisis, it has strengthened its foundations and is now moving towards a knowledge-based, sustainable and competitive economy, with reforms and adjustments.

"What we are seeing is a return to growth and the opening up of enormous business opportunities. The momentum of our economic growth will persist and the employment situation will further improve, with increasing job opportunities and a decreasing chance of layoffs," he said.

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