Special report from Hong Kong
The streets of Hong Kong have never been cleaner. When you arrive, people are particularly friendly, hungry for visitors. The combined impacts of a lagging economy, political protests, and SARS have hurt the Chinese economy, but it is more apparent in Hong Kong than anywhere else!
Yesterday at a job fair in Hong Kong, thousands showed up for a job fair, only to find that college graduates were competing for menial jobs, even cleaning jobs. The Economic minister reported that new college graduates will have a hard time finding good jobs, because they simply aren't here.
I visited one of Hong Kong's most popular restaurants last night. There were just a few people there, and no foreigners, except me. My hotel, would normally charge a rate of $90 U.S., but my room was priced at $30.
Last week some 500,000 people demonstrated against the Government plan to reduce civil liberties in the name of "War on terror", reminiscent of U.S. policies. Over the weekend another 15,000 demonstrated and it seems that the Government has put the new law on hold.
While many companies have struggled and stayed in Hong Kong, others have moved to the mainland, thus there are vacancies in some sectors of Hong Kong.
While the Chinese economy overall slowed in the second quarter, GDP growth from 9.9% to 8%, partially because of SARS, it is still better than the anemic 2.5% GDP growth of the USA. Ms. Wu Yi, Chinese Vice Premier just announced a campaign to attract new foreign investment, hoping foreign investors will take over and restructure Chinese business.
But business models still indicate that by 2020 China's economy will be the most powerful in the world.
Learn to enjoy egg rolls.