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Friday, November 20, 2015, 09:11

The ‘Appreciate Hong Kong’ campaign can really work

By Eddy Li

On Nov 16, the government announced its plan to launch a campaign called “Appreciate Hong Kong”. This is the third campaign of its kind after “Hong Kong: Our Home” in 2013 and “Bless Hong Kong” in 2014.

As suggested by Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at the launch ceremony, “Appreciate Hong Kong”, which will run from next month to The ‘Appreciate Hong Kong’ campaign can really work April 2016, is more meaningful than the previous two campaigns. This is because it aims to generate greater cooperation in society.

“Appreciate Hong Kong” intends to promote four positive actions, namely appreciating Hong Kong, showing gratitude to Hong Kong, understanding the city, and adding value to it. For the sake of achieving these four objectives, the SAR government is to work with 12 different sectors in the city to launch a series of projects.

I believe this is an effective strategy for Hong Kong. In recent years, society has been deliberately politicized by radicals. As a result, a depressing atmosphere can be felt in every corner of the city. The younger generation, in particular, is complaining about a lack of opportunity, high property prices and so on. But in reality, growing up happy often means some people fail to appreciate what happiness really means. Hong Kong is a free and secure city with an enviably low crime rate, a great degree of freedom in business and daily life, a sound legal system, efficient infrastructure and an excellent geographical location. These advantages were all stressed by Carrie Lam. All these aspects of the city deserve our appreciation. This is especially true when we compare Hong Kong with many other parts of the world — countries and regions are suffering from natural disasters, wars, unrests, terror attacks and so on. We should really be thankful for what we are benefiting from Hong Kong.

As the president of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) of Hong Kong, I am honored to be a part of the “Appreciate Hong Kong” campaign. It will highlight 10 programs, each of which has its own unique features. They are: Free Visits to Ocean Park for Low-income Families; the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort “We Did It” Award Scheme; the 50th Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo — Bringing Love to Society; One-month Free Admission to Museums; “Home Market Shopping Fun Fun Fun”; Farmfest 2016; the Hong Kong Marathon Carnival; Open Days of the Disciplined Forces Training School; the Food and Culture Festival; and the West Kowloon Cultural District Freespace Happening — Enhanced Version.

The CMA-sponsored Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo will be held for the 50th time at the end of the year. It has scheduled a period of time specifically for disabled and elderly people — 2,000 in total — to visit Victoria Park where the Expo will be held, with student volunteers acting as guides. Aside from supplying low-priced products to those who belong to the disadvantaged group, the sponsors have also prepared gift bags as well as a HK$500 shopping allowance for them. In the past, activities of this kind were usually held by individuals or no more than two government departments or private organizations. So the outcome was not satisfying enough. But with a joint effort from the government and private organizations, the result is expected to be better. This is why the CMA still agreed to cooperate with the government, even though its plan for the event has long been finalized.

Hong Kong is now facing a number of difficulties and challenges. The “Appreciate Hong Kong” campaign is specifically meaningful for our city in a time of problems; it can hopefully help us be more united. Together, we can pull Hong Kong out of its difficulties.

The author is president of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong.
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