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Hong Kong embraces huge opportunities in silver economy

Hong Kong embraces huge opportunities in silver economy

Hong Kong is at the forefront of embracing the silver economy, recognizing the immense potential of its growing elderly population. Ranked fourth in the Asia-Pacific region for silver economy growth, the city is strategically positioned to capitalize on the expanding market tailored to the needs of older adults.

With aging demographics, increasing GDP, and longer life expectancy, Hong Kong is poised to tap into the burgeoning silver market, projected to reach an estimated US$4.56 trillion by 2025. According to the Ageing Asia Silver Economy Index 2020-2025, which considers factors such as aging population, GDP, household savings, and life expectancy, Hong Kong's rise as a potential silver economy hub is notable.

Official data further underscores the city's demographic shift, with the number of people aged 65 and above projected to surge from 1.45 million in 2021 to 2.74 million by 2046. This demographic trend presents both challenges and opportunities for Hong Kong, prompting proactive measures to cater to the evolving needs of its aging population.

According to the recent reporting of South China Morning Post, recent initiatives reflect Hong Kong's commitment to embracing the silver economy and addressing the diverse needs of its elderly citizens. The Hong Kong Council of Social Service's pilot project, supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, exemplifies this proactive approach. Offering over 1,500 gerontechnology devices for home use, the project aims to enhance the quality of life for older adults by providing essential assistive devices and technology solutions.

Connie Tam Choi-wan, Manager of Innovation and Technology for Ageing at the council, highlights the positive impact of the project, which has assisted over 2,000 individuals aged 60 and above since its inception in 2020. By providing a range of equipment from electric wheelchairs to assistive eating devices, the project addresses a spectrum of needs and promotes independence among elderly individuals.

Looking ahead, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau has established an advisory panel on the silver economy, chaired by Secretary Algernon Yau Ying-wah. The panel aims to facilitate the development of innovative products and services tailored to the elderly population. By harnessing the expertise of industry experts and stakeholders, the panel seeks to identify opportunities and offer strategic recommendations to support the growth of the silver economy.

Silver economy should focus on technology solutions

Suggestions from experts and businesses underscore the importance of education, incentives, and strategic planning in nurturing Hong Kong's silver economy. Educating elderly consumers about gerontechnology and incentivizing businesses to invest in the silver market are key strategies to stimulate growth and innovation. Additionally, conducting studies on the financial condition of the aging population can provide valuable insights for policymakers and industry stakeholders.

Expanding funding mechanisms such as the Innovation and Technology Fund for Application in Elderly and Rehabilitation Care to cover individual elderly individuals is also proposed. This initiative aims to empower elderly individuals to access technology solutions that enhance their quality of life and promote independent living.

Drawing inspiration from aging societies like Japan and Singapore, Hong Kong aims to learn from best practices and implement long-term strategies for sustainable growth. Legislator Tan Yueheng emphasizes the importance of adopting a holistic approach to aging, viewing it not only as a demographic challenge but also as an opportunity for economic development and innovation.

According to another report in China Daily, As businesses recognize the growing demand from aging consumers, there is a pressing need for tailored products and services in Hong Kong. Technology plays a pivotal role in bridging the supply gap, with calls for increased government support and investment in the sector.

While the aging population poses challenges to public finances, it also brings economic opportunities. The global silver economy market is projected to reach $38 trillion next year, offering significant potential for private sector growth and industry diversification. On the Chinese mainland, the consumer market for the elderly is also accelerating, with an average annual growth rate of 15.2 percent.

Ma Kai-yum, executive vice-president of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, emphasizes the transformative potential of the silver economy in alleviating the financial burden and stimulating industry innovation. By leveraging technology and fostering collaboration between government, industry, and civil society, Hong Kong can unlock the full potential of its silver economy and ensure a prosperous future for its aging population.

Source: South China Morning Post, China Daily


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