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5 charts show how protests in Hong Kong have affected the city's economy and stock market – CNBC

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Protesters occupy the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International Airport during a demonstration on August 12, 2019 in Hong Kong, China.

Anthony Kwan | Getty Images

Widespread protests in Hong Kong have lasted for more than six months — with little signs of abating anytime soon.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, is a global financial and business center that connects China and the world.

Protests in the city were initially sparked by proposed changes to a law that would have allowed extradition to mainland China. They later morphed into broader anti-government demonstrations that include demands such as greater democracy and universal suffrage, and at times involved violent clashes between protesters and the police.

Here are five charts to show how the protests have affected Hong Kong’s economy and stock market.

Hong Kong in recession

It could get worse for the city. Iris Pang, greater China economist at Dutch bank ING, projected Hong Kong’s annual gross domestic product to fall by 2.25% in 2019 and 5.8% in 2020.

Retail sales slump

Hong Kong consumers have been cautious about spending as the global economic outlook turned bleak early in the year. But the protests made consumers hold back spending even more, exacerbating the decline in the city’s retail sales.

Tourism decline

Visitors from mainland China, who account for close to 80% of tourists in Hong Kong, fell by around 4.45% in January to October this year compared to the same period in 2018.

Stocks up in 2019

Despite the pressure on the economy, Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index — the Hang Seng Index — appears on track to end 2019 higher than where it started the year.

That’s because investors still see the Hong Kong stock market as a way to buy and sell Chinese assets, according to Mark Mobius, founding partner at Mobius Capital Partners.

“There’s always an opportunity to enter China through Hong Kong, and that won’t go away any time soon,” Mobius told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Dec. 6.

Top market for listings

Hong Kong looks set to retain its position as the top market for new stock listings globally.

WATCH: What is Hong Kong’s relationship with China?

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JOSH LAUGHREN: No green recovery without blue economy, and no blue economy without fish – SaltWire Network

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JOSH LAUGHREN

As the federal government prepares the throne speech for Sept. 23, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has rightly emphasized the importance of planning for a green and just recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The $32-billion “blue economy” — our oceans — must be part of this strategy.  

The pandemic, climate change, habitat destruction and persistent overfishing have made it more urgent than ever that we invest in our oceans as the Earth’s most important life-support system. Canada now has a unique and powerful opportunity to make our oceans part of a sustainable recovery from COVID-19.  

According to government figures, the oceans are a source of approximately 350,000 jobs in Canada — often in communities with few other employment options. The term “blue economy” is a flexible one that can include almost anything related to the ocean: energy, shipping, tourism, recreation, aquaculture, transmission cables and much more. But now, more than ever before, we cannot afford to ignore the original and still vital foundation of the blue economy: wild fish to support the domestic seafood industry.   

Canada’s fisheries have been severely depleted over many decades, to the point where Oceana Canada’s latest fishery audit shows that only about a quarter of them can confidently be considered healthy. The value of Canada’s wild-caught seafood is dominated by a few shellfish species like lobster, crab and shrimp, leaving little room for error. And the situation is not improving. Our annual audits show that the overall health of Canada’s fish stocks continue to decline. The number of healthy populations has decreased from 2017 to 2020, despite new investments in science and management. 

The outcomes of Canada’s current approach to fisheries management has real costs for Canadians and coastal communities. A recent study by Rashid Sumaila and Louise Teh at the University of British Columbia, commissioned by Oceana Canada, showed rebuilding fisheries can deliver long-term economic and social gains for five of the six high-valued stocks they studied. The most optimistic scenario estimated a gain of 11 times more economic value than today. As we have seen from examples all over the world, wild fish populations will usually rebound if we just give them a chance. Failure to do so represents a massive loss for future generations. 

There is reason for hope. Successive governments under the leadership of Trudeau have restored funding to fisheries science, improved the transparency of fisheries data and greatly increased the amount of marine habitat protected. And the modernized Fisheries Act, which became law last year, requires depleted fish stocks to be rebuilt. But laws are only effective if implemented, and so far, the regulations needed to support the act have not been completed.  

Trudeau and the minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Bernadette Jordan, have stated that the blue economy is essential for Canada’s economic recovery. In fact, it is so important it is at the top of the fisheries minister’s mandate letter. Just two months into the pandemic, Trudeau urged us all to “buy Canadian” to “help the people who keep food on our plates,” as his government invested $470 million to help fisheries recover. But you can’t buy Canadian fish if there are no fish to catch. And in many communities along all three coasts, without fish to catch there will be no long-term recovery. 

This throne speech and new mandate will be a watershed moment in Canadian history. Canada’s deputy prime minister and newly minted minister of finance recently said that our country’s economic recovery needs to be green, equitable, inclusive and focused on jobs and growth. We agree.  

There is no green recovery without a blue economy, and no blue economy without fish. 

Josh Laughren is the executive director of Oceana Canada, an independent charity established to restore Canadian oceans to be as rich, healthy, and abundant as they once were.

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China's economy remains resilient despite external risks, says Xi – Reuters Canada

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the meeting to commend role models in China’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China September 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s economy remains resilient and there are ample policy tools at Beijing’s disposal despite rising external risks, President Xi Jinping said in remarks published on Saturday.

The world’s second-largest economy has steadily recovered from a virus-induced slump, but analysts say policymakers face a tough job to maintain stable expansion over the next several years to turn China into a high-income nation.

“The basic characteristics of China’s economy with sufficient potential, great resilience, strong vitality, large space for manoeuvre and many policy instruments have not changed,” Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.

China has strong manufacturing capacity, very large domestic markets and huge investment potentials, Xi said.

Xi reaffirmed a “dual circulation” strategy that would help steer the economy towards greater self-reliance, as U.S. hostility and a global pandemic increase external risks.

China still enjoyed “strategic opportunities” in its development, although the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated global challenges as globalisation slows and unilateralism and protectionism are rising, Xi was quoted as saying at a meeting on the country’s 14th five-year plan (2021-2025).

“We must seek our development in a more unstable and uncertain world,” he said.

Xi urged calmness amid rising difficulties and challenges.

“The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation can never be achieved easily with the beating of gongs and drums,” he said.

Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Alex Richardson

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China's economy remains resilient despite external risks, says Xi – SaltWire Network

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s economy remains resilient and there are ample policy tools at Beijing’s disposal despite rising external risks, President Xi Jinping said in remarks published on Saturday.

The world’s second-largest economy has steadily recovered from a virus-induced slump, but analysts say policymakers face a tough job to maintain stable expansion over the next several years to turn China into a high-income nation.

“The basic characteristics of China’s economy with sufficient potential, great resilience, strong vitality, large space for manoeuvre and many policy instruments have not changed,” Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.

China has strong manufacturing capacity, very large domestic markets and huge investment potentials, Xi said.

Xi reaffirmed a “dual circulation” strategy that would help steer the economy towards greater self-reliance, as U.S. hostility and a global pandemic increase external risks.

China still enjoyed “strategic opportunities” in its development, although the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated global challenges as globalisation slows and unilateralism and protectionism are rising, Xi was quoted as saying at a meeting on the country’s 14th five-year plan (2021-2025).

“We must seek our development in a more unstable and uncertain world,” he said.

Xi urged calmness amid rising difficulties and challenges.

“The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation can never be achieved easily with the beating of gongs and drums,” he said.

(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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