HONG KONG: Good Economics for Hard Times (3) — How Will Tai Po District Share 1 Million More Populations With 450,000 New Jobs Upon Industrial Estates And Neighbourhood Renewal?

Emerging Knowledge
7 min readJul 26, 2022
Tai Po Old Market (Source: Shutterstock, Contributor: beibaoke)

Continue Chapter (2) — 2021/22 is a turning point annual as Hong Kong SAR Government released the 10-years development planning “Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030” (“Hong Kong 2030+”) and initiated the sectoral and land planning document “Northern Metropolis Development Strategy” amid the global uncertainties — global trade pacts reshuffling, geopolitical conflicts, global price rise on commodities and economic stagflation.

The Eastern Knowledge and Technology Corridor in the first conceptual planning map in Hong Kong 2030+ implies the bold economic choice pre-selected by Hong Kong SAR Government — Hong Kong needs to restructure its strategic economic model with industrials with advanced sciences and technologies, besides the conventional banking and financial services — and such re-engineering move, by looking at neighbour economies like Singapore (aeronautical engineering and robotics), South Korea (integrated circuits and chips) and, most importantly, Mainland China, can only be accomplished consistently and coordinately by a dedicated change of the roles the government bureaus, economic and industry policies play (re: Public Policy Research Group 6 and 7). It is no longer the game of “Big Market, Small Government”.

Overall Spatial and Land Conceptual Planning along the Eastern Knowledge and Technology Corridor.

In the territorial spatial planning document of Hong Kong 2030+, Northern Metropolis is positioned as 2nd economic growth engine, besides the central financial district in Hong Kong Island, for the long-term and sustainable development — with 10 key initiatives and 45 development projects as stated in the sectoral panning document (below), including the establishment of Lok Ma Chau Loop with the Hong Kong — Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Parks, that, by industrial ecosystem and value-chain sense, connects to the Shenzhen Qianhai’s larger economic cooperation zone (“前海方案”) — while connecting to the several re-industrializing (digitally transforming) industrial estates, logistics & shipment depots and warehouse zones in Sheung Shui, Fanling (togther as Northern District), Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and up to Tai Po District and Fotan (Shatin District) — together with a few New Development Areas (NDA): Fanling North, San Tin, Kwu Tung North and Hung Shui Kiu (re: Public Policy Research Group 2).

Sectoral Planning and Land Conceptual Planning Maps in the Northern Metropolis.

Making Mission Impossible Possible — Liveability and Future Job-Friendly In The Next 10 Years?

While Hong Kong has been also struggling with the economic speed turn due to the socio-political road blocks — Job Security and Welfares (in non-financial sectors), Housing Quality, Population Over-Density in certain districts, Ageing Populations and Elderly Caring Services … (re: Public Policy Research Group 1, 3, 4 and 5), the Hong Kong 2030+ and “Northern Metropolis Development Strategy” stated that the new clusters of towns and technology innovation-driven industrial zones shall aim to accommodate further 1,000,000 (1 million) populations in the involved districts (Tai Po, Northern, Yuen Long and others) and 450,000 new jobs respectively.

To analyse further, this is assumed that the ambitions behind such key objectives are to demonstrate the strong political that Hong Kong SAR Government shall take in the process of policy innovations, local administrative entrepreneurship and coordination with the private sectors (as considered “social” in their ESG strategies, so as to respond to the principles of urban planning in liveability and future job-friendliness in the next 10 years. (re: Public Policy Research Group 1)

Tai Po District As A Case — Making Sense of Northern Metropolis And “Social” of “ESG” In Corporates — The Most Influential Infinity Stone

Continue Chapter (1) and (2) — Along with the several field studies conducted with the public policy research interns and groups since March, the groups are currently conducting further policy and social economics researches, case studies, interviews and necessary dialogue using Tai Po District as a local context, given that the Tai Po District:

  • Shares similar demographics and urban economic structures of the “New Town” during the 70s and 80s by the Government then — like Sheung Shui, Fanling and Yuen Long (town clusters of Northern Metropolis) (re: Public Policy Research Group 1, 3, 4 and 5)
  • Visited by President Xi Jinping to HK Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP) during the 1st July 25th Anniversary of Hong Kong SAR Establishment, the speech addressed by the President Xi in HKSTP demonstrated the political importance of Tai Po District (where HKSTP locates) to drive the Eastern Knowledge and Technology Corridor over other neighbour districts. (re: Public Policy Research Group 7)
President Xi Jinping Visited HKSTP and Delivered Speech on 7 Top Innovations to Watch in Hong Kong and Greater Bay Area (source: info.gov.hk)

As part of the process of Community Program collaborated with the Hong Kong Social Enterprise Summit, the Public Policy Research Interns delivered the current outlooks of the research frameworks and shaded lights to the importance and broader views of the social economics logics to be applied to the local community studies. More context, statistical figures and voices of stakeholders in the Tai Po District will be collected, consumed and analysed in the process.

Public Policy Research Mid-Term Review and Presentation Conducted by The Public Policy Research Groups.

Are Districts Locally Ready? — Resilience of District Economic Power; and Are The Districts Serving Accordingly?

“Price on Household Expenditure” (Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, 2011) has been a commonly used indicator to measure the real economic growth and purchasing power. Furthermore, this is assumed that the household expenditure on (non-formal) education may proxy the district-level economic resilience, while the indicator may be able to bridge the understanding of the social costs to nurture the right talents (Labour Supply Side) to match the new jobs to be created by the 10-years development of Northern Metropolis. (Labour Demand, but acting on the Policy-Driven Market Supply Side)

The assumed nature of inelasticity of household expenditure on education to the changes of non-formal education price along the years leads to the possible use of the economic figure as an indicator for measuring the public costs to change, hence the readiness to adopt new economic model in district.

(re: Public Policy Research Group 8)

Raw data on pricing and categories of courses provided are collected with over 40 education centres and tuition shops street-visited that are mainly located in the low-grade community centres (屋村商場), where public housing estates are neighboured.

Class-sizes are estimated too, over the household populations among the neighbouring public housing estates and hence the ratio of shop-to-household over education expenditure can be calculated to estimate the household economic power, to benchmark the social costs and policy budget for innovating the way licensed (regulated by Education Bureau) non-formal education curriculum for responding to the needs of future jobs upon the new industry development in Northern Metropolis, ensuring the supply of future talents with synergetic environment that create new jobs as planned.

Research Interns Conducting Field Visit to Small Shops (Education Centres and Other Tuition Shops)


  1. HONG KONG: Good Economics for Hard Times (1) — How to Communicate the Realistic Socio-Economic Outcomes and Reasoning in Industry 4.0?
  2. HONG KONG: Good Economics for Hard Times (2) — It Takes Strong Political Will To Lead 4.0 Industrial Economic Choice Towards New Urban Sustainability And Growth Formula
  3. Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030 (“Hong Kong 2030+”)
  4. Northern Metropolis Development Strategy
  5. Projections of Population Distribution 2021–2029
  6. Table 7 : Projected Population by District Council District by Quinquennial Age Group, 2021–2029 (Figures of 2019 and 2020 are base year estimates) | Planning Department of HKSAR Government
  7. Questions Posted on the Field Study to Education Centre and Tuition Shops :


  • 大埔區主要分為:1) 屋村商場;2) 大型發展商商場。
  • 大型發展商商場相對佈滿連鎖消費品牌,包括電子零售、時尚服裝、運動用品大牌等。而屋村商場相對佈滿較多日常生活所需零售服務,包括補習教育、髮型美容、中西醫診所、雜貨商店等。
  • 從這城市商店資產(Real Estate Retail Asset Class)分佈著手,假設「大型發展商商場」帶有的商店資產為相對更多普通商品 / 服務(Normal Goods)及奢侈商品 / 服務(Luxury Goods);需求的價格彈性相對較高(Price Elasticity of Demand)。
  • 同時假設「屋村商場」的商店帶有相對更多低檔商品 / 服務(當消費者實質收入增加後,需求會減少的商品)(Inferior Goods)及普通商品 / 服務;需求的價格彈性相對較低(Price Elasticity of Demand)。
  • 從新冠疫情第四、第五來襲香港,普遍香港家庭可支配收入回落至疫情前水平(2022 及 2018 年同期比較),假設大埔一般家庭(大埔區每月住戶入息中位數為 28,000 港幣;稍高於全港住戶每月入息中位數的 26,500 港幣)對課後教育服務需求為缺乏彈性(Inelastic)(具體假設:補習班及其他興趣班價格變貴程度比付費報名人數)。

因此 (Hence):

  1. (第 6 點前提下)當大部分打工族工資沒有有效的上調,加上物價通脹,這會否把一般打工家庭(包括年輕家庭)推落「屋村商場」消費水平?
  2. 假定「屋村商場」的教育店鋪資產價格及現金流相對穩健,那教育服務本身可視為對價格敏感、但需求量動搖不大的商品,「屋村商場」的教育服務可否作為社區物價指標?
  3. 大埔區穩健的「屋村商場」教育店鋪所提供的額外教育服務商品(從中小學起)能否成為涵接「再工業化」產業發展人才需求的缺口? (修補教育價值鏈缺口,涵接大學教育)



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