CMA 2018 Annual General Meeting 
President Dr Dennis Ng says mounting risks to dampen economic outlook

The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong (CMA) organised its Annual General Meeting today (27 September). In the meeting, President Dr Dennis Ng reported the works of CMA over the past year, and shared the views of CMA on economics and the business environment.
Although a number of economic indicators were on the upswing, rising external headwinds are threatening the growth momentum of city’s product exports and economy in the period ahead. President Dr Ng said, “The global economy outlook is clouded by an escalation of trade war, which may weaken demand for exports. The market sentiment and asset market will also be under pressure. Hong Kong’s exports are unlikely to sustain their momentum, and may even register a zero growth next year.”  
Dr Ng also noted that the accelerated Fed hiking cycle, coupled with the weakness in Hong Kong currency and the capital outflows, may push up the local interest rates. “SMEs are already facing tough economic challenges, and higher interest rates would add pressure by getting loans more expensive and difficult.”
However, domestic demand should hold up well due to the favourable employment market and stable government consumption expenditure. Dr Ng also expects that the completion of Express Rail Link and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will bring positive energy to city’s economy. 
In light of an array of external and other uncertainties, Dr Ng predicts that the Hong Kong’s economic growth may slow down a bit, with full year growth at 3.5%. When the impact of trade war becomes more obvious, the growth in 2019 may slow further to around 3%.

He reminded that businesses should stay alert and be prepared for whatever comes along. CMA will keep a close watch of all matters, both external and internal, which may impact the industry, and will safeguard the interests of businesses. He also described the trade mission to Ethiopia conducted in previous week as fruitful, and pledged that CMA will continue help members explore potential markets to mitigate risk and explore opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative and Greater Bay Area.  
At the meeting, Dr Ng unveiled a number of new initiatives like organising a series of commemorative activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up in the coming few months, and hosting two education expositions next year.
Assuming the office of President for nine months, Dr Ng thanked for the General Committee and members for their concerted efforts and support for CMA’s works.
Other CMA office-bearers attending the AGM today included Legislative Council Representative the Hon Ng Wing Ka, Vice Presidents Mr Marvin Hsu, Mr Ng Ching Wun, Dr Edward Chan, Dr Wong Chun, Dr Lo Kam Wing, Mr Dennis Ng and Dr Ma Kai Yum, Chief Executive Officer Mr Raymond L M Young, Honorary President Choi Hin To.