Chamber in Review
Committed to Serving the Business Community
Committed to Serving the Business Community<br/>竭誠服務商界

Committed to Serving the Business Community<br/>竭誠服務商界

Committed to Serving the Business Community<br/>竭誠服務商界

Committed to Serving the Business Community<br/>竭誠服務商界

Committed to Serving the Business Community<br/>竭誠服務商界

Committed to Serving the Business Community<br/>竭誠服務商界

2023 proved to be a mixed bag for Hong Kong as it slowly emerged from the pandemic years. We had a strong first quarter, but it wasn’t quite the rebound everyone was hoping for. Nonetheless, the economy grew by a respectable 3.2%. 

The world economy was affected by geopolitical conflicts, trade protectionism and rising interest rates, and Hong Kong was not spared. To spur on economic recovery, the Financial Secretary set out far-reaching proposals in his 2024-2025 Budget as Hong Kong grappled with changing consumer habits and a transformed business environment.

Nonetheless, the Chamber kept up a wide range of services throughout the year. We lobbied the Government on hot-button issues, and engaged with members in a variety of ways. These included training courses, seminars, site visits, meetings with government officials, and business-matching sessions, among others.

In November, the Chief Executive unveiled his second Policy Address to boost the economy and improve the well-being of citizens. These initiatives will enhance manpower, strengthen our position as an offshore RMB centre and develop Hong Kong as an international I&T centre. 

The Financial Secretary’s Budget also aims to stimulate recovery, and we were pleased to note that our recommendations for short-term relief measures were among the proposals implemented.

The Chamber welcomed the passing of Basic Law Article 23 legislation on 19 March 2024, which will enhance the business environment and ensure long-term growth and stability. We engaged with members and Government during the consultation period to provide input and clarify concerns. We also held two town hall forums with the Secretary for Justice and Secretary for Security, which led to useful exchanges between the Government, Chamber members and representatives of other chambers in Hong Kong.

The Chamber is committed to building our international connections and sharing good stories about our city with the world. We undertook several strategic overseas business trips, and signed MoUs with organizations in Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Singapore and Vietnam. 

In July, Hong Kong shone brightly on the global stage when the Chief Executive led a delegation of high-level officials and industry leaders to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. I was honoured to be among the industry leaders looking to forge two-way investment paths.

During our high-level mission to Beijing, Chamber leadership and representatives of international chambers in Hong Kong called on various government officials. Director Xia Baolong of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of CPC Central Committee acknowledged the Chamber’s role in promoting Hong Kong’s economic and trade development over the past 162 years. We had another opportunity to exchange views with Director Xia during his visit to Hong Kong in February, where he praised the business community for its fighting spirit. 

The Chamber kept its focus trained on the Mainland, Greater Bay Area, and the Belt and Road Initiative. Our missions to Nansha, Hengqin and Zhuhai opened up business opportunities to our members. It is encouraging to see that, according to our Annual Business Prospects Survey, Hong Kong companies have a positive forecast for the GBA. Among respondents already conducting business in the region, nearly half wanted to increase investment over the next 12 months, up from 34% last year.

The Eighth Belt & Road Summit in September also marked the 10th anniversary of the BRI. It was attended by many of our General Committee members for a better understanding of BRI goals in the next decade and the potential business opportunities.

As the Chamber is Hong Kong’s definitive “Voice of Business,” it is thanks to our wonderful and diverse membership, which consists of thousands of local and international businesses that operate across the gamut of industries. It is a privilege to engage with this formidable reserve of talent, experience and skills, allowing us to grow from strength to strength as we continue with our endeavours to represent, support and strengthen the Hong Kong business community.

Our members have always supported HKGCC, and risen to the challenges of the pandemic years and prevailing economic uncertainty. The Chamber will continue to support the business community in every way possible to realize their goals.


Successfully Navigating Challenges Together

Looking back at 2023, it was quite a roller-coaster ride for Hong Kong’s economy. It was great to see the city buzzing with energy again after all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and borders with the Mainland were reopened. Visitor numbers climbed and the economy showed signs of revival. However, the pandemic greatly affected people’s consumption patterns and inbound visitors’ preferences.

Despite the challenges, the Chamber pulled out all the stops to help our members. Our calendar included over 360 events, including seminars, workshops and training courses. 

In 2023, we worked hard to grow our international connections. We hosted meetings with government leaders, Consuls General in Hong Kong and delegations from around the world. We also undertook missions to explore business opportunities in diverse markets like the Middle East and South-East Asia. We held a cocktail reception with Consuls General of European countries, as well as happy hours and luncheons with international chambers.

A big part of our work during the year involved lobbying the Government on key issues, with 17 consultations, proposals and policy submissions. For the 2023 Policy Address, our proposals covered nine key areas that tackled urgent issues like the manpower shortages, housing and land supply, and leveraging Hong Kong’s position as a super-connector.

In our Budget submission, we proposed introducing short-term relief measures to help businesses, including the immediate axing of all “spicy” property measures, a one-off rebate on profits tax and salaries tax, and extending the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme. 

One of the biggest highlights of our calendar was the Hong Kong Business Summit in May. We were honoured to welcome Chief Executive John Lee and Financial Secretary Paul Chan to the conference, which looked at how Hong Kong can stay competitive in a changed world. We also restarted our in-person Joint Business Community Luncheon for the Financial Secretary in March and the Chief Executive in November.

To help guide businesses, we launched a series of monthly talks called “CEO 123 Tell Me More,” which put the spotlight on inspiring businesspeople, academics and visionary thinkers, and have proven to be very popular. 

In January, the Women Executives Club held a symposium where HKEX leaders discussed why more women executives should take up the position of independent non-executive directors on company boards. Over the year, the Membership Department organized various events as well as over 100 training courses. In December we held our annual Christmas Cocktail Reception, where over 400 members joined Chamber leaders in clinking their glasses to success.

The Chamber’s Business-School Partnership Programme, the Business Case Competition and the Pitch Perfect Programme are going strong, and continue to serve as useful platforms for students to learn about the corporate world and build career skills.

We also collaborated with various charities and NGOs during the year, and held a training workshop with the Fire Services Department to spread awareness about the importance of CPR in the workplace. We also joined forces with Medical Conscience to support the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the Good Citizen Award, which provided an opportunity to raise funds to ensure its continuation for many more years.

The results of all our hard work can be seen in the promising membership renewal rate and new community of members. Rest assured that the Chamber will continue to do everything it can to support the business community in navigating the challenges that lie ahead.

Patrick Yeung, CEO, HKGCC 


A Multi-pronged Approach for Economic Revival

Over the past year, Hong Kong has gradually resumed normalcy, hosted major business and sports events, and welcomed a growing number of business and leisure travellers from around the world, which has benefited tourism and F&B-related businesses. 

The Government forecasts GDP to grow 2.5% to 3.5% in real terms for 2024. Despite signs of recovery, the business community, particularly SMEs, is still facing many challenges. 

As the Chamber’s Legislative Council representative, I have been serving members and the business community by maintaining close communication with members. 

While our economy continues to recover, many companies are experiencing manpower shortage and cash flow constraints. I worked with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to see what could be done to help SMEs. Subsequently, the HKMA issued guidelines to banks and introduced nine measures in March to assist SMEs in obtaining financing from banks.

The Government also responded to my recommendations for the Policy Address and Budget. On attracting enterprises and talent, I suggested suspending the stamp duty arrangement to encourage incoming talent to buy residential property. The Government also extended the application period of the special concessionary measures under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme.

To lift the gloomy property market, I reiterated for the full withdrawal of the “harsh measures” to manage demand for residential properties. This was announced in the Government’s latest Budget, which also benefited related sectors such as legal, accounting and estate agencies.

A crucial project is the development of the Northern Metropolis. As a member of the Advisory Committee on the Northern Metropolis, I believe it will serve as an engine for the growth and development of Hong Kong. Many investors have expressed great interest in the project, and I hope the business community will seize opportunities arising from the initiative.

Another aspect of my work is serving as the Chairman of the LegCo Panel on Commerce, Industry, Innovation and Technology, and the Bills Committee on Extension of Government Leases Bill. In accordance with the 1997 Land Policy, the lease will be extended for 50 years without payment of any additional premium, which will help boost investor confidence.

As a member of the Bills Committee on Safeguarding National Security Bill, I was honoured to take part in the scrutiny of the Bill and reflect the views of the business community, investors and stakeholders to the Government. Eventually, the Government agreed with my comments and made a number of amendments to the Bill. With the law now in effect, I believe it will ensure a stable business environment and allow society to focus on economic development.

By taking a multi-pronged approach to reinvigorate the economy through the Government and business community’s united efforts, I am sure Hong Kong will shine even brighter as an international metropolis.

Jeffrey Lam, HKGCC LegCo Representative


Fostering Stronger Ties with the Mainland

With the border between Hong Kong and the Mainland fully reopened in February 2023, travel went back to normal and both economies began to recover. To help members reconnect with businesses in the Mainland, the committee regularly organized events throughout the year, including missions, cocktail receptions and seminars.

The development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) has progressed swiftly, promoting integration between Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong. To help members further explore market opportunities in the region, the committee and the GBA Working Group led three separate missions to Nansha, Shenzhen, as well as Guangzhou, Zengcheng and Conghua. We also led a delegation to Haikou in July to learn about the latest developments and policies of Hainan Free Trade Port.

The Committee also helped to organize the Chamber’s high-level delegation to Beijing in November. In our meeting with Xia Baolong, Director, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and other Mainland authorities, he acknowledged the Chamber’s important role in promoting Hong Kong’s economic and trade development for over 160 years. 

A highlight of our calendar was the cocktail reception in June to mark the 26th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China. The event was attended by over 20 representatives from the Hong Kong Representative offices of various Mainland cities and provinces, as well as more than 160 Chamber members.

To help our members stay abreast of China’s latest economic trends and development, we organized seven seminars during the year on topics including the Two Sessions, Cross Border Data Transfer Rules, the new VAT laws, etc. We also supported and co-organized around 90 events with various Mainland provinces, cities and organizations. We welcomed 60 delegations from Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, and cities in the GBA, among others.

This year marked the 5th anniversary of the launch of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The GBA Working Group has recently given their recommendations to the HKSAR Government for further promoting high-quality development in the region.

The China Committee remains committed to its mission of fostering stronger ties between the Mainland and Hong Kong, and helping businesses to explore opportunities in China, particularly in the GBA.

Felix Lee, Vice Chairman, China Committee


Facilitating Industry-wide Collaboration

In the past year, the Shipping and Transport Committee has continued to be actively engaged in addressing key challenges and advocating for policy changes. During the pandemic, which deeply hit our business, we undertook significant efforts to submit thought-provoking papers on critical topics, including quarantine arrangements for aircrew and competition regulations for vessel sharing agreements. 

To foster knowledge-sharing and promote sustainable practices, we organized impactful events and seminars. Our visit to Hong Kong International Airport offered invaluable insights into its latest developments and plans. Our seminars on decarbonization and hydrogen as an alternative fuel showcased our commitment to exploring innovative and environmentally conscious mobility solutions. 

The committee also played a pivotal role in facilitating industry-wide collaboration through regular meetings led by experts who spoke on a range of topics. These included community-based air cargo data platforms, trade and clearance initiatives, high-end maritime services, and sustainable aviation practices. For instance, we invited Benjamin Wong, Head of Transport, Infrastructure and Advanced Manufacturing, InvestHK, to talk about the GBA business opportunities in July last year. Louise Ho, Commissioner of Customs and Excise, updated us on latest trade and clearance initiatives at the end of 2023. 

During a meeting in March this year, the Corporate Sustainable Aviation Fuel Programme Manager from Cathay Pacific delivered an enlightening presentation on sustainable aviation fuel and the industry’s ESG-related programs in air shipment. It shed light on the airline’s commendable efforts in promoting sustainable practices and showcased the pivotal role of sustainable fuel in reducing carbon emissions. Such discussions have provided our members with unique perspectives and helped forge connections among industry professionals.

Furthermore, the Committee has been long pushing for a Port Authority to drive the development of Hong Kong Port, which would require an integrated plan to stabilize and improve the city’s market positioning. Going forward, we remain resolute in our commitment to driving positive change and propelling the growth of the shipping and transport sector.

Mark Slade, Chairman, Shipping and Transport Committee


Helping Young Professionals to Grow

The Young Executives Club continued to play a big role in the Chamber’s efforts to engage young professionals and students. Supported by the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau, our second Pitch Perfect Programme helped to equip 90 university students with essential career skills. 

It included training sessions, mentoring, company visits, internships and a pitching competition. In the final, five students won HKGCC Student Membership for one year and cash prizes. Now in its third year, the programme has grown in popularity, with a record 150 university students taking part.

To strengthen the overseas connections of our next-generation business leaders, the club led a mission to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in November. During the three-day trip, the Chamber signed an MoU with the Institute for Economics and Trade Development to enhance trade and investment opportunities as well as people-to-people links between the two economies. The itinerary included a business matching session with local companies as well as tours of fruit factories and farms. 

During the year, we organized many activities for members, from CSR to knowledge-sharing. Networking sessions included a fun Christmas dinner and a happy hour that strengthened bonds between young business leaders. We also visited Kai Tak Sports Park VIP Experience Centre for an update on its development. A team of five members took part in the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce’s badminton contest in July. We also signed up for the Hunger Run in October to raise funds for the needy.

This September, the Club will mark an important milestone – its 10th anniversary. We will continue in our efforts to provide more events of interest to our members, raising awareness about social and educational issues, and contributing to the community. The Club will focus on further helping our young professionals to grow through various events such as interactive sharing sessions with successful business leaders, which will benefit the Chamber as a whole.

Olivia Kung, Chairman, Young Executives Club



Agnes Chan Elected HKGCC Chairman

Agnes Chan, Senior Advisor, Chairman’s Office, Greater China, Ernst & Young, and former Managing Partner of EY Hong Kong & Macao, was elected Chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) for the coming year, taking over from Betty Yuen, who retired from the chairmanship after serving for two one-year terms.

The election was held at the inaugural meeting of the new General Committee immediately after the HKGCC’s Annual General Meeting on the evening of 10 May. Guy Bradley, Chairman, John Swire & Sons (HK) Ltd, was elected as Deputy Chairman, while Victor Li, Chairman, CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd; and Douglas Woo, Chairman & Managing Director, Wheelock and Co Ltd; were re-elected as Vice Chairmen. Yu Pang Chun, Director and General Manager, Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium Ltd, was newly elected as Vice Chairman.

Members elected a total of six members to fill the seats on the General Committee – the governing body of the Chamber – who were required to step down this year. Three of them were re-elected, respectively: Allen Fung, Director, Sun Hung Kai Infrastructure Investment Ltd; Wilson Kwong, Director, Jardine Pacific Limited; and Sun Yu, Vice Chairman & Chief Executive, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd. Jan Craps, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Chair, Budweiser Brewing Co APAC Ltd; Victor Lam, Managing Director, Active Works Co Ltd; and Steven Sieker, Partner & Chief Executive, Baker & McKenzie, were newly elected. 


HKGCC General Committee

Chairman: Agnes Chan 

Deputy Chairman: Guy Bradley 

Vice Chairmen: Victor Li, Douglas Woo, Yu Pang Chun 

LegCo Representative: Jeffrey K F Lam

General Committee Members: Jan Craps, Eric Fok, Allen Fung, Pansy Ho, Benjamin Hung, Jacob Kam, Wilson Kwong, Peter Lam, Victor Lam, David Liao, Eric Ma, Nikki Ng, Roy Ng, Neville Shroff, Steven Sieker, Sun Yu, Emil Yu, Edmond Yue, and Betty Yuen.


Over the years, we have helped businesses overcome adversity and thrive locally, in Mainland China and internationally.

If you want to take advantage of our network,insights and services, contact us today.