I can barely believe a year has flown by since I became Chairman of the Chamber. For the past 12 months I have been kept very busy, representing your interests to the Government on all the key issues affecting Hong Kong businesses.
It has certainly been an interesting year, with a number of complex economic and geopolitical challenges arising. Chief among these is the ongoing China-U.S. trade war, which could have huge consequences for the global economy as well as Hong Kong businesses. The picture on the trade war has been constantly shifting, and we remain hopeful that the tensions will abate. In the meantime, we have been working hard with the Government to find the best solutions to help our member companies through this uncertain period.
Besides the trade war, the Chamber has continued to voice the concerns of businesses to the Government on other topics, such as addressing the regulatory hurdles in the Greater Bay Area to ensure we can all take advantage of the great opportunities that are emerging. We are also keeping our eye on the general economic picture, amid the slowing growth momentum.
One of the highlights of my tenure so far has been the opportunity to meet so many of you at various Chamber events. It has been great to hear your ideas on how we can improve the business environment in Hong Kong, and also to see how our programme of activities can help you network and increase your industry knowledge.
Our members also play a crucial role in helping us develop our policy submissions to the Government. After all, the backbone of the Chamber’s work is built by the knowledge and experience of our members. This ensures that our policy submissions are pragmatic and relevant, while also reflecting our members’ opinions and insights.
Other than the trade tensions, the biggest Hong Kong story grabbing headlines around the world has been the recent protests against the extradition bill. These large-scale demonstrations impacted local companies and also our reputation among the international business community.
Although we were saddened to see pockets of violence, the largely peaceful rallies have shown the world how we cherish our freedoms and the rule of law. That sends a very strong signal that Hong Kong continues to be a free, open and law-abiding society – the very factors that underline our success.
Hong Kong is truly a resilient city. We must combine our efforts and strengths. We must now look to the future and move forward.