Chairman's Desk
Navigating Through Stormy Seas

It was great to “meet” members during our online webinar last month. I’d like to thank everyone for participating, and for your thoughtful questions and suggestions.

I hope to have the opportunity to meet members in person before too long. But such online events are great examples of how important the digital aspect has become to businesses today. 

Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital technology, and people across all sectors have now become accustomed to interacting online, so this way of doing business will likely become a normal part of our professional life. 

This digital shift could help Hong Kong-based businesses, especially SMEs, to save time and costs by cutting down on international travel. Regardless of the industry, investing in digital solutions now will surely pay dividends as the new post-Covid economy recovers.

We hope that normality will return soon, but we must also be realistic. Hong Kong has done one of the best jobs in the world of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, but with so much uncertainty around the world, the outlook for the remainder of the year is far from rosy.

The past year has been tough for businesses in Hong Kong. The Chamber lobbied the Government to provide support to help businesses, but before receiving these subsidies, some companies have had to lay off staff and even to close their doors for good. 

We may not be able to control the external forces that are shaking Hong Kong, particularly the pandemic that continues to spread globally, but we can navigate the storms and prepare for calmer days ahead. A key part of this is ensuring that businesses are making the most of the opportunities available, including those on our doorstep in the Greater Bay Area.

In recent years, the Chamber’s China Committee has done a tremendous job in helping members learn about the latest GBA developments and to connect them with businesspeople and officials across Guangdong Province. Although our popular missions to GBA cities are on hold for now, the Chamber will continue to keep our members up to date about the latest developments through our continuing programme of webinars.

We should also look to our neighbours in ASEAN, and the countries of the Belt and Road initiative, many of which have rapidly developing economies and a growing middle class. The Chamber plans to further develop new contacts around the world so we can continue to act as a link for members that are looking to expand overseas.

Covid-19 has caused huge economic damage globally, and no-one is sure when the pandemic will ease or what the eventual recovery will look like. But we hope that by working together through the next few months, the Chamber can help members position their businesses to take full advantage of the new opportunities that will surely emerge with the recovery.

Peter Wong