Members had the opportunity to hear from the Chamber’s new Chairman Peter Wong during a webinar on 17 July. Wong shared his vision for the future direction of HKGCC and his thoughts on how the Chamber can continue to support companies of all sizes and from all sectors in the city.
Key issues discussed included the move towards digitalization, which has been spurred by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as many Hong Kong people have been working from home and businesses respond to the ever increasing demand for online shopping and services.
Amid this rapidly changing environment, continuing to forge strong relationships with stakeholders in other economies will be crucial for Hong Kong businesses, including building on our ties with overseas chambers, Wong said.
“At the present moment, Hong Kong is facing unprecedented challenges,” he said.
As a result, Hong Kong’s GDP has contracted and unemployment has risen. As the coronavirus threat recedes, we will need to think about new ways of doing business, and how the Chamber can help, Wong said. Business models are changing, particularly the drive towards digital and possibly less business travel in the future. There will also be new opportunities in terms of geographies as well as new products and services.
“As far as geographies are concerned, what I would like to do is connect with more chambers of commerce around the world, starting with those in the Asia Pacific,” Wong said. “We can help our members connect with other businesspeople around the world, so they can identify new opportunities.”
Wong noted that, according to McKinsey, two-thirds of the global middle class will live in Asia by 2030, creating a huge consumer market on our doorstep as well as new trade and investment opportunities.
The development of the Greater Bay Area, in particular, is creating opportunities: for example, Mainland regulators recently introduced 30 new regulations for the GBA covering areas such as the mutual opening of accounts and investments. However, Hong Kong businesses need to know about these initiatives and opportunities if they are to take advantage.
On this issue, Wong told members that he had recently had a meeting with Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau to discuss how businesses can better access information about this rapidly growing region.
Referring to the Chamber’s policy work, the Chairman said that he would like to encourage more feedback from members.
“I would like to have a call to action to all members,” he said. “When the Chamber responds to a Government initiative, we would like your participation when we send out surveys. This will ensure that we know what members are thinking on the issues that impact their businesses.”
During the webinar, the Chairman expressed his thoughts on the importance of helping to educating the entrepreneurs of tomorrow through facilitating student engagement with the business community.
“We would like to help university students by opening up their views – not just about Hong Kong but also the rest of the world,” Wong said. “The more they understand what is happening in Asia and the Greater Bay Area, the more they will understand the opportunities that are available.”
He also answered a number of questions from participants in the online event, and encouraged members to share their thoughts with him going forward on how the Chamber can help them to do business in the current difficult climate and in the longer term.