For Immediate Release
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) celebrates its 153rd anniversary today. To mark the occasion, it organized the fourth ‘Free Ride Day,’ which allows everyone in Hong Kong to ride on trams and two Star Ferry routes free of charge for the entire day. We want to celebrate our birthday with everyone in Hong Kong, and work hand in hand with the community to build a bright a prosperous future.
Kicking off Free Ride Day at a press conference this morning, HKGCC Deputy Chairman Y K Pang said the event also aims to highlight the diversified services and business opportunities that we provide to our members, as well as serving as their voice on matters of policy. To promote the entrepreneurial and can-do spirit that have enabled Hong Kong to thrive, the Chamber also launched an “Entrepreneur Series” of talks recently.
Pang expressed the Chamber’s concern that Hong Kong is slipping in international competitiveness rankings. He said Hong Kong’s overall score in the latest IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2014 was satisfactory. However, in the “Institutional Framework” category, which is about Government decisions and political stability, Hong Kong’s ranking dropped significantly from 3rd place last year to 8th this year.
“The influx of many new, hefty regulatory measures in recent years -- not to mention those in the pipeline, such as the standard working hours -- is worrying,” he said. “The endless political disputes and the prolonged filibusters in LegCo are also doing little to help Hong Kong’s economic development.”
The tinkling of bells officially launched HKGCC Free Ride Day this morning, witnessed by over 50 members and Chamber staff. Riding on one of the trams, the Chamber’s leadership and members posed in the windows so it looked like they were “wearing” the t-shirts bearing our members’ company names and logos printed on the trams. The colourful design symbolizes that Hong Kong’s success stems from all trades and industries, and that our members have worked hand in hand to contribute towards building a stable and prosperous Hong Kong.
In the afternoon, Chamber CEO Yuen, accompanied by Chamber Vice Chairman Stephen Ng, rode on the Star Ferry and distributed souvenirs to passengers. Ng said following the Free Ride Day publicity, two trams carrying HKGCC’s advertisements will run from June 12 to July 9 to convey the message that HKGCC, as the voice of business, has worked with the community to help build Hong Kong’s economic prosperity. The Chamber hopes that more businesses will join Hong Kong’s oldest business organization to create a better future.
A photo booth at Central Pier Link Building Plaza was also set up for passengers to wish the Chamber a happy birthday and take a photo with Victoria Harbour as the background. Everyone who takes a photo will immediately receive their specially printed photo free of charge, and be able to download the soft copy of their photo by liking HKGCC’s Facebook page.
Yuen said she expects over 300,000 passengers will benefit from HKGCC Free Ride Day. She hopes the event will showcase HKGCC’s desire to contribute to the community, and that the public will gain a better understanding of the Chamber.
Representatives from supporting organizations said they are happy to be a part of this very meaningful event. In addition to contributing to society, they said all trades and industries can work together to boost Hong Kong’s development. The general public also gave an overwhelming thumbs up for Free Ride Day.
In closing, Yuen reiterated her gratitude to the 53 participating and supporting members, as well as three media partners – HKC Enterprises, Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited and the Sing Tao Group – for their strong support.
Photo 1: Chamber Vice Chairman Stephen Ng, CEO Shirley Yuen, and General Committee member Manohar Chugh, together with Free Ride Day sponsors,pose for a group photo at the Central Pier.
Photo 2: Chamber Deputy Chairman Y K Pang and CEO Shirley Yuen and members ring their bells on board a tram in Central to celebrate Free Ride Day.
Photo 3: Chamber Deputy Chairman Y K Pang, together with CEO Shirley Yuen, Free Ride Day sponsors and Chamber members ring their bells to officially kick off Free Ride Day.
Photos can be downloaded from www.chamber.org.hk/en/media/pressphotos/
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