In a more competitive world with multiple economic hubs, the once-dominant influence of East-West superconnectors is waning. Hong Kong must capitalise on the Greater Bay Area, Belt and Road Initiative and focus on ‘sweet spot’ sectors where China and other regions seek better cooperation.
Washington should double down on combining policy support, financial incentives and advances in technology, to reduce its reliance on China-sourced material. As it strives to build a home-grown supply chain, investing in Canada’s critical minerals could be a game-changer.
For all the talk of the benefits reshoring and ‘de-risking’ can bring domestic workers, they also introduce new risks to people’s way of life. Neither the US nor China can afford to ignore these new risks, including limited job creation, expensive subsidies and greater material costs.
The US is turning to Vietnam in its attempts to diversify supply chains and curb China’s regional influence, but that is easier said than done. Vietnam’s booming durian exports are just one example of its close economic dependence on China, complicating US ‘friendshoring’ efforts.
China’s growth trajectory, the impact of global economic conditions, geopolitical tensions and ambiguity on the energy transition are all risks. But businesses can prepare by boosting in-house intelligence and diversity – both in recruitment and operations.
Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan have managed to hold their own against developed economies in other regions for decades. However, amid geopolitical fragmentation, game-changing technological advancements and social divisions, they need to adapt quickly.
From electricity to public transport and logistics, more inter-regional cooperation and investment is needed, as well as innovation. Hong Kong can both serve as a conduit for mainland Chinese investment into Southeast Asia and provide sustainability finance expertise.
Hong Kong has long been a service-based economy reliant on finance, tourism, trade logistics and professional services. But as the Chinese economy shifts towards domestic consumption, Hong Kong must change too, to maintain healthy economic and job growth.
Biotech is especially important given the ageing population and economic ambitions of Hong Kong – and China as a whole. For the world, biotech protectionism will lead to more expensive treatments and greater health insecurity.
A decade ago, Asia’s millennials were optimistic the region would set aside conflicts and become more united to meet global challenges such as climate change. Today’s Generation Z, who grew up amid rising geopolitical tensions and major economic disruptions, are no longer so hopeful.