CMA 2019 Annual General Meeting
President Dr Dennis Ng calls for unity to combat the economic downturn

The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong (CMA) organised its Annual General Meeting today (26 September). In the meeting, President Dr Dennis Ng reported the works of the CMA over the past year, and shared his views on economy and the business environment.
This year, the growth of the Hong Kong economy has markedly slowed down. In the first half of the year, real GDP grew by only 0.5%, the lowest rate in a decade. President Dr Ng said, “In addition to external and internal pressures, consumption and investment stand on the verge of collapse. In the face of various uncertainties, we anticipate that Hong Kong’s economic conditions will be tough.”

Dr Ng also noted that economic growth has slowed considerably in the Eurozone and Mainland China, and the United States and Japan have also faced downward pressures. Moreover, the global manufacturing PMI slump has deepened and widened in recent months, signalling an overall deterioration in global business conditions.
Furthermore, the impacts of the China–U.S. trade war on global economy have become more obvious, and the changes in US foreign policy are rewriting the international economic and trade order. In addition, more two-way volatility in the RMB and the US dollar is expected, and the international financial market faces high uncertainty. Dr Ng foresees a single-digit drop in Hong Kong’s exports of goods this year and next year.
Dr Ng also worries that the internal political crisis would undermine Hong Kong’s strength to combat the external challenges. “The ongoing protests and violence triggered by the proposed amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Regulations have seriously affected the local business operation, and thus hitting the retail trade and diminishing the confidence of foreign investors. With the decline in number of visitors to Hong Kong, the export of services is expected to be greatly dampened.”
With Hong Kong’s economy facing various internal and external challenges, Dr Ng predicts that the real GDP growth rate in 2019 will fall below the lower limit of 0%–1% predicted by the government; and there is little sign of optimism on the economy next year, and the growth will probably be negative.
Dr Ng welcomes the government’s new easing measures and said the CMA will continue maintain close liaison with authorities to ensure that SMEs could receive the support in a timely manner. Meanwhile, the CMA will continue to help the local industry develop markets, especially in those along the Belt and Road Initiative and grasp the opportunities arsing from the Greater Bay Area.

Concerning policy advocacy, the CMA has submitted a number of suggestions to the government on the promotion of re-industrialisation and technological development.
Dr Ng also reported that the CMA had successfully staged a number of activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC and the 85th anniversary of the CMA. He was also satisfied with the results of the association’s first “Hong Kong International Education Expo”, saying that it gives a strong boost for the CMA to develop new business.
Dr Ng expressed his gratitude to those who have supported him and the CMA along the way. “The coming year will be another challenging one. In spite of this, the CMA will do its best to unite the business community and prepare it to drive the long-term economic development of Hong Kong.” He also said that the SAR government has already shown its sincere desire to solve deep-rooted problems in Hong Kong, and he is convinced that as long as the society can work together, Hong Kong can overcome the existing obstacles and challenges.

Other CMA office-bearers attending the AGM today included Legislative Council Representative the Hon Ng Wing Ka, First Vice President Dr Shi Lop Tak, Second Vice President Mr Marvin Hsu, Vice Presidents Mr Simon Wong, Dr Lo Kam Wing and Mr Ng Kwok On, Chief Executive Officer Mr Raymond L M Young.