June 20, 2024

Letter | Hong Kong is well-poised to boost China’s trade and investment

Thanks to investments from leading Chinese companies, including Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) and BYD, Hungary is becoming a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles (EVs) and lithium batteries in central and eastern Europe. China has become the number one source of foreign investments there. Businesspeople and government officials I spoke to believe EV manufacturing’s contribution to Hungary’s gross domestic product will only increase.
And following President Xi Jinping’s visit to the country early last month, Hungary is even more committed to strengthening diplomatic ties with China.

Hong Kong surely has a role to play here. Local business stakeholders in Hungary I’ve spoken to were well aware of Hong Kong’s strengths in professional services and our common law system.

With growing economic and trade ties with China, one would foresee the future growth of the demand and use of renminbi in Hungary. As the largest offshore renminbi hub in the world, Hong Kong can provide financial services relating to yuan. Our traditional strengths in handling companies’ finances will also come in useful.

The affordability and ease of travelling matters. Therefore there is a need to further expand Hong Kong’s direct flight services to Europe – and North America for that matter – to cut costs and increase convenience.

Hungary has announced the launching of direct flight services between Budapest and Shenzhen. Hong Kong air services must also keep up with the times, and we should always take initiatives to reinforce our international air hub status.

Holden Chow, member, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council

Consumers must be vigilant. Our lives depend on it

All kinds of scams and swindles have been making the headlines in Hong Kong recently and I could not agree more with your correspondent in the letter, “Companies must turn to checks and balances to fight deepfake scams” (May 30), that effective protocols and vigilance remain the best defence for an organisation.

For the individual, vigilance is a must. My own experience shows one can be cheated even at established businesses.

My family recently sent our car to a reputable car dealership for emergency repair after a hole was found in the gas inlet pipe. The shop suggested replacing the gas tank, to which we agreed. We collected the car a few days later and what followed over the next three to four weeks was a nightmare of discovering we had been cheated.

To cut a long story short, the gas leak was not fixed, and the shop later admitted the replaced gas tank was not brand new as they had promised. In the end we got a full refund plus an appeasement gift of HK$10,000 (US$1,280) in gas coupons.

It sends chills down our spine thinking about what could have happened. Family members could have been killed if a road accident had happened during those three to four weeks.

There are dishonest merchants who will try to make a profit at the expense of human life. We must all beware.

Philip S. K. Leung, Pok Fu Lam

Pharmaceutical regulator should put people over profit

I refer to your editorial, “Swift drug approvals the right medicine for Hong Kong” (May 22).

Unlike the Hong Kong government, Canadian authorities allow the pharmaceutical industry too much influence over what drugs get onto store shelves, and when they get there.

Health Canada was established to act in Canadian consumers’ best interests, and quite rightfully so when considering that it’s funded by taxpayers; yet, like its US counterpart, the Food and Drug Administration, it is susceptible to corporate lobbyist manipulation.

Also notable and disturbing is that Health Canada diverts resources from consumers’ health and well-being towards assisting the pharmaceutical industry with its business and profit interests. It has placed about three times more of its resources, such as staffing and funding, into getting new drugs approved than it does on consumers’ safety, the latter of which includes monitoring and recording adverse effects caused by the drugs.

Such is Canada’s virtual corpocracy.

Frank Sterle Jnr, British Columbia, Canada

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