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   Vol. 19 No. 66
Wednesday October 7, 2020
Hong Kong is Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
China Scene

Bob Rogers     Despite what you have read or may think you know about Hong Kong reports of that gateway and world money center’s demise deserve a closer look:
     ”It’s not over, in fact Hong Kong ‘s exit from the world stage is simply not going to happen,” Hong Kong-based Bob Rogers, who also is the driving force of the global organization ULD CARES told me.
     “I think one would have to get up very early in the morning to find somebody who doesn't have good memories of Hong Kong. I arrived here on the 29th of December 1974 and while I had a job I certainly never imagined that I would still be here, approaching 46 years later.
     “Today I remain optimistic and excited about the coming years for Hong Kong, the sheer grit of the people is a constant source of inspiration and from time to time amusement.
     “Personally, I think there is very little to worry about and in fact our best years are probably ahead of us.
     “I could fill a bookshelf with books forecasting the end of Hong Kong, people have been writing them for years and like a broken clock that tells the right time twice a day maybe one day they will be right but I don't think it's any time soon.
     “One of the problems we have is that this is an extremely attractive place to live if you are a news man, it offers all the comforts of modern living in a very exciting city, including the Foreign Correspondents Club with an extremely substantial bar at which journalists can spend much of their time but of course have to crank out articles for the head office every so often so they run around the corner and see if they can find something bad to write about!”
     And what about the greatness of the Chinese people?
     “Having spent 45 years living and working amongst them the Cantonese; they are a continuous source of inspiration, and have a ‘never say die’ approach.
     “This of course can sometimes tie things in knots as happened last year, it is just one part of living amongst an extremely enthusiastic and sometimes over volatile population!
     “But for a moment let’s just about trade.
     “I listened to an interesting presentation from the Asia Society the other night, talking about the current Cold War between the U.S. and China.
     “While the three very erudite panelists agreed that negotiating the politics would be extremely difficult and that you would have to choose one side or the other, they also agreed that all the numbers indicate that trade is not being affected at all and in fact the most recent figures coming out of China are all on the up.
     “On a lighter side, I wonder if you are aware of the incredible demand for home bread makers in the pandemic?
     “Demand has gone off the rails and guess where in 2020 most bread makers are being made?
     “Here is a sign of the confidence in Hong Kong.
     “With the world’s airline industry in dire straits, Hong Kong International Airport is ploughing ahead at full speed with the third runway project due to open in about three years’ time.
     “This is the sort of ambition that makes Hong Kong the place it is, so stay tuned,” Bob Rogers declared.
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