Since it was founded in 1861, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce has not only witnessed the business community growing alongside Hong Kong, but has also made significant contributions to the economic growth, good governance and social development of the city.
With HKGCC celebrating its 160th anniversary this year, I, as the Chamber’s Legislative Council representative, feel very honoured to be part of this milestone in our history.
Looking back, the role of the Chamber’s LegCo representative has been filled by many top business leaders. The first representative, Thomas Jackson, the then Chief Manager of the Hongkong Bank, was elected in 1884. Jackson Road next to the old Legislative Council Building in Central was named after him in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the business sector.
With the mission of promoting, representing and safeguarding the interests of the business community in Hong Kong, the Chamber’s representatives at LegCo have throughout the years been dedicated to serving businesses by providing input and recommendations to the Government and relevant authorities.
Thanks to the enthusiastic support of the business community and Chamber members, I had the privilege in 2004 of being elected as the Chamber’s LegCo representative for the first time, and also of being re-elected since then. It has been my great pleasure to have the opportunity to serve the entire business community over these years and work side by side with members through many difficult times.
Some of the most challenging periods during my tenure include the financial crisis in 2008, the social unrest in 2019, and the current Covid-19 pandemic, which has already lasted for more than a year.
I pledge that I will remain committed to serving the business sector and HKGCC members by extensively listening to views from various sectors of the community, and faithfully reflecting businesses and stakeholders’ concerns and opinions.
As the pandemic subsides, society has been looking forward to Hong Kong reopening its border to visitors from low-risk places such as the Mainland and Macao without having to quarantine on arrival. We hope this can happen as soon as possible.
In my opinion, the Government should “walk on two legs.” On the one hand, it should prepare for rainy days by considering the introduction of more measures to cut red tape for businesses and undertake the necessary preparatory work to pave the way for economic recovery. On the other hand, huge opportunities are unfolding in the Greater Bay Area. As an international financial centre and talent pool within the GBA, Hong Kong is well-positioned to foster the development of the whole region.
With a promising future ahead for the GBA, I hope that Hong Kong businesses will adopt an open attitude and take the initiative to grasp the unlimited opportunities brought by the developments in this dynamic and increasingly prosperous region.