Stepping into the streets of Hong Kong for the first time is an experience I will never forget! The fact this global city is open for business is immediately on display with commerce carried out as far as the eye can see. The energy and sheer density of people is far greater than that experienced in Perth! Known as the city where East meets West, it is also the city where the new co-exists with the old. Modern skyscrapers stand next to heritage buildings that give way to street vendors below, selling traditional Cantonese cuisine along streets where vintage trams share the road with the latest luxury cars.
My first week at the Lion Rock Institute has been both informative and thought provoking. Upon meeting full time Lion Rock staffer Laurence Pak, we discussed many of the challenges Hong Kong faces and the effect of public economic policy on these issues. One such issue is traffic congestion in the central business district.
The government is planning to introduce an electronic road pricing system to charge road users during peak periods. My first task has been to evaluate similar systems implemented in other global cities and consider whether such a system would be suitable for Hong Kong. Questions arise as to whether pricing peak road usage may cause further problems such as overloading of public transport.
With Hong Kong heralded as one of the most free markets in the world, my first week at the Lion Rock Institute has given me a greater understanding of how small government and minimal market intervention played a role in this achievement. I have seen firsthand the importance of the work Lion Rock does, in both safeguarding Hong Kong’s free market status and pursuing new heights for this bustling mega metropolis!