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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

On behalf of the Hong Kong SAR authorities, we would like to thank the Article IV and the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) teams for the candid and constructive dialogue held during the missions. We broadly agree with staff’s assessment of the economic outlook and we welcome staff’s view that Hong Kong SAR’s financial system is well regulated and resilient. Latest economic development and outlook The Hong Kong SAR economy continued to grow at a stable pace. The year-on-year real GDP growth rate was steady at about 3.0 percent throughout the

Mr. Lamin Y Leigh
Hong Kong SAR's population is aging rapidly. This paper concludes that, without a change in policies, aging could adversely affect growth and living standards. While higher labor productivity growth and increased migration of younger skilled workers from the Chinese mainland, would attenuate the economic impact of aging, they would not offset it fully. Aging will also put pressure on public finances, particularly as a result of rising health care costs. There is a relatively narrow window of opportunity to implement policies to lessen the impact of aging, given that the demographic effects could start setting in as early as 2015 when the working population's support ratio peaks. In recent years, the Hong Kong SAR authorities have been focusing on policies that could help limit the fiscal impact of aging, including continued expenditure restraint on non-age-sensitive areas, reform of health care financing (including introducing private health insurance system), and tax reforms.
Mr. Lamin Y Leigh

introducing private health insurance system and raising user fees—with safeguards for the needy), and welfare reforms and revenue-enhancing measures. Other measures could also be taken to shift the associated health care costs of aging to the private sector which could include the introduction of a Medicare-type levy on employees to be administered by the Mandatory Provident Fund. As noted in Section IV , the Hong Kong SAR authorities are already considering some of these measures These combined with continued success at fiscal consolidation would go a long way in

International Monetary Fund

.5 In percent of GDP 4.3 6.1 7.9 10.7 9.8 9.5 Foreign exchange reserves Foreign exchange reserves (in billions of U.S. dollars, end of period) 107.6 111.2 111.9 118.4 123.5 … (In months of retained imports) 18.0 20.4 22.6 23.3 25.3 … Sources: Data provided by the Hong Kong SAR authorities; and IMF Staff estimates and projections. 1/ Fiscal year begins April 1. 1 Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with