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Import Food Control and Hong Kong's Competitiveness

            Imagine a city where most of the food, if not all, in the territory are literally inedible, and premature death is rampant, would you still take risk and stay? A staggering number of food scandals in Hong Kong have caught the attention of the public lately. These scandals apparently provide ample evidence for the government's loosened import food control, and this would give rise to a food-borne disease outbreak that causes economic loss and social disorder.
             Firstly, it is without doubt a blunder for the government to be negligent in import food control because it would adversely affect our economy. Hong Kong always prides itself on high standard of food safety; however, its reputation as a "food paradise" has been blemished because the consecutive food scares give people an impression that the food here is no longer uncontaminated (Ngo, & Lai, 2014): McDonald's scandal of importing expired meat and the "gutter oil" scandal in July and September 2014 respectively (Ramzy, 2014). The repeated occurrences of similar scandals will cause long-lasting damages to the tourism and get the government into a financial predicament, given the importance of tourism in Hong Kong's economy. Take a look at China's tourism performance, which has already been affected by the food scandals (e.g., pork meat scandal): In 2013, China's inbound tourism declined by 2.5% compared with the previous year (Xiao, & Zheng, 2014). The public distrust prompts a catastrophic fall in income from foreign investments, due to the expected decreasing returns. This happens in Hong Kong as well: The successive scandals have decreased its direct investment income by 2.0% in 2013 (Hong Kong's Information Services Department, 2014).
             Apart from the economic aggravation, the mishandling of import food will undermine social stability. Hong Kong's citizens think consumer right and food safety guarantee are essential as basic human rights.

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