Forecast 2021

22.02.2021.

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Kung Hei Fat Choi, San Tai Gin Hong恭喜發財, 身體健康! These 8 Chinese words mean “Wishing you good health and prosperity;” It is Blue Concept Asia’s wish to everyone.


2021 is the year of the metal ox. An ox symbolizes hard work, positivity, loyalty, gentleness, humility, prosperity, and strength. In Chinese culture, an ox is a strong animal associated with harvests and fertility. It is patient and industrious, and does its tasks with relentless effort.

 
In Chinese zodiac, the year of the ox is full of challenges and opportunities.  


Industries worldwide suffered after the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, but the Chinese zodiac gives us much to hope for in 2021. It predicts that COVID-19 will start abating this summer, and the economy will recover in the second quarter. The Hong Kong economy, specifically, will rebound in 2021. With its strong will to beat COVID-19, the Hong Kong government will be “supporting enterprises, safeguarding jobs, stimulating the economy and relieving the people’s burden.” Signs of recovery will be apparent by the second half of the year.  


The Hong Kong export industry was severely disrupted by the pandemic and the China-US trade dispute for the past two years. However, it is gradually recovering. According to the latest Export Index conducted in mid-November in 2020 by HKTDC, the index rebounded from 16 to 36.2 within 1 year. 29% of the local exporters foresee their total sales to remain the same over 2021, while 27% expect an increase. Considering all the global, regional, and local factors, the government forecasts a year-on-year growth of 5% for local exports in 2021.  


The pandemic has accelerated the trend of deglobalization. With almost everyone working from home, studying from home, and seeking entertainment from home, the global supply chain may evolve in the coming years. The pandemic has led us to a new era of online experience, one where many important daily economic activities are done from home. From production to shipment, purchase to distribution, the “stay-at-home” economy has brought opportunities to internet-based products and services. It has also led to new concepts such as telehealth technology, remote learning/working technology, and cloud kitchen to emerge. The internet, coupled with the pandemic, has altered not only our economy but also our habits, routines, and communication, which in turn has reinforced the use of big-data systems and applications. Hence, enterprises should fully exploit these phenomena and utilize various technology platforms.  


As for the global economy as of 26 January 2021, 100 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and the death toll has risen to 2.1 million. America and Europe are facing the most critical challenges. Tightening measures such as lockdowns, curfews, closure of borders, and declaration of a state of emergency has only weakened the global economy, and has forced the governments of other countries to boost their economy through alternative ways.  


Quite positively, the United Nation and World Bank foresee that “the global economy will expand 4% in 2021 — marking a return to growth after the 2020 recession. But substantial risks remain, and the recovery is expected to be subdued.” Chinese economy is expected to expand by 7.9%. However, rises of unemployment rate, decline of labor forces, and failure of investments are expected. Firms should pay attention to their cash flow for emergencies.  


Meanwhile, governments are purchasing newly-discovered vaccines and encouraging civilians to undergo vaccination. But can vaccination beat COVID-19? What are the risks of being injected with fairly untested vaccines? Shouldn’t we just learn to coexist with the virus, and shouldn’t we be allowed to travel freely without vaccination? It is time to rethink the benefits of being insured. Our economy cannot rely on the internet totally, hence our borders should be reopened. Vaccination might work, but we shouldn’t rely on it heavily.


The world needs all of us to beat COVID-19. Only by healing together can we find once again not only our physical, mental, spiritual, but economic health as well.  


With all faith in a bright financial year, we wish you all a Happy Chinese New Year.