Covid-19: Hong Kong government will implement more measures to shore up the economy

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong The government is ready to implement more measures to shore up the economy, the city's chief executive announced Tuesday.

At a press conference, Lam said that the government will ramp up investment and expenditures in a bid to save Hong Kong 's economy, reports Xinhua news agency.

The government's fiscal condition is better than that of the Asian financial crisis of more than 20 years ago, Lam said, adding that the government has already announced around HK $ 290 billion ($ 37 billion) in relief measures.

Lam urged the Legislative Council to approve the economic stimulus by including measures in the budget as soon as possible and to speed up the approval of government projects.

Hong Kong 's GDP contracted 8.9 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, the largest recorded decline since the reference period of the first quarter of 1974, as the pandemic dealt another blow to the city economy yet to recover from months of violent protests last year.

To cope with economic difficulties, the government has announced two policy rounds under the anti-epidemic fund and some other relief measures in its annual budget, including HK $ 10,000 in cash for each permanent resident 18 years of age or older and also Grants to help cash companies in short supply pay wages.

Lam also said it was time to relax social distancing measures and that the government will announce new policies as soon as possible if the decision is made.

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A series of government-sponsored social distancing measures, including limiting group gatherings and closing some entertainment venues, will expire Thursday at midnight.

Hong Kong has reported no new local infection for 15 consecutive days, indicating a subsiding pandemic situation.