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Hong Kong takes steps to spur growth, as economy grows just 1.4%

Economy grows just 1.4 per cent last year - the slowest since 2009

Published on Feb 27, 2013 3:14 PM

HONG KONG - Hong Kong is taking steps to stimulate economic growth while dishing out sweeteners, as the economy grew just 1.4 per cent last year - the slowest since the 2009 recession.

While a modest recovery is on the cards - the GDP is forecast to grow between 1.5 and 3.5 per cent this year, Financial Secretary John Tsang painted a picture of challenging times for the city, contending with an "unstable" external environment in the coming year and an ageing population in the long term.

A raft of measures will provide immediate relief for the elderly, families and students. HK$56 billion (S$8.94 billion) will be spent on social welfare - allowances for the old, waiver of public rents and electricity subsidies.

Another major chunk - HK$63 billion - will go to education, including a HK$15-billion injection into a training fund to help the low-skilled and unemployed move onto and up the jobs ladder.

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