Dr Jonathan CHOI Koon-shum (Chairman of the 50th terms of office) November 2016
The new Committee will uphold the Chamber’s missions to serve the business community, participate in Hong Kong and the country’s economic construction, and contribute to the society. We will serve members wholeheartedly.
With the full support of our members, I am honoured to serve again as the Chamber’s Chairman. Faced with the rapid economic and social changes in recent years, I am well aware that the Chamber’s role will be more important. I will do my best to join hands with all of you not only to maintain the Chamber’s fine tradition of loving the motherland and Hong Kong, but also actively assist members and the business community to prepare for the various challenges, working together to explore the business opportunities arising from the country’s “13th Five-Year” Plan, the “Belt and Road Initiative”, and innovative economic development.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my observations on the economy and business environment, as well as how the Chamber can make more effective use of its role as a chamber of commerce to provide appropriate support to members.
Responding to changes in the business environment
Affected by the downward pressure on the external economy, fluctuations of interest rates and exchange rates, and global political and economic situation, Hong Kong as a highly open economy will inevitably encounter challenges. In particular, Hong Kong’s imports, exports, tourism and retail consumption have continued to decline, adding uncertainties to business operations. We will keep watching on the impact of changes in the international scenario on Hong Kong’s economy, business environment and employment situation. We will make full use of the Chamber’s network to work closely with governments and business organisations worldwide to explore market opportunities at home and abroad.
We will, through various policy consultation channels, actively reflect the aspirations of our members and the business community. By giving suggestions on Hong Kong’s development, we strive to pursue reasonable rights for members on matters which have far-reaching impact on business operations, such as the working hours policy, retirement protection and MPF hedging. At the same time, we will continue to organize and participate in different forums, visits and seminars to help members understand market developments, building a communication platform for the business community.
Strengthen bridging role for economy and trade
Despite the continuing uncertainties surrounding the external economy, the country’s “13th Five-Year” Plan and the “Belt and Road Initiative” will provide strong support to Hong Kong’s economy, and Hong Kong will play a greater role as a “super-connector” for promoting exchanges and cooperation between the Mainland and other countries. We are committed to strengthening the Chamber’s role as a bridge between Hong Kong business community and their participation in national development. We will assist members to capture the opportunities arising from the Mainland and Hong Kong’s deepening economic and financial co-operation by strengthening collaboration with the Guangdong FTZ, actively participating in the conceptualisation and construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area, and pay close attention to the latest developments of policies such as the CEPA, liberalization of trade in services, Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.
In addition, as East Asia has become an important engine of global economic growth in recent years, we will do our utmost to assist members to participate in it. Such assistance includes helping members further understand the developments of East Asian markets and the development potential of the “Belt and Road Initiative” through a series of ministerial meetings, seminars and visits, and considering more training and exchange activities in the regions along the “Belt and Road”, from which to explore opportunities for cooperation.
Keeping pace with innovative development
With the popularity of the Internet and technology, creative innovation will become the key to driving future economic development. We will actively earmark more resources to enhance the innovation capacity and competitiveness of the Chamber and business community, and assist member companies to adapt to the innovative industrial development model. For example, we will train young professionals in innovative thinking by providing training courses and exchange programmes, and support the development of creative and innovative industries and start-ups, so that young people have more opportunities to participate in or even try to start a business to realize their ambitions, laying a solid foundation to support innovative economic development.
We will strive to promote innovation of the Chamber’s undertakings and gear it towards a younger leadership. We will combine the valuable experience of our predecessors with the innovative thinking of the younger generation so that the Chamber can more effectively perform its function of promoting industrial and commercial development.
In summary, the new Committee will uphold the Chamber’s missions to serve the business community, participate in Hong Kong and the country’s economic construction, and contribute to the society. We will serve members wholeheartedly; fully support the HKSAR Government’s administration in accordance with the law; and unite the strengths of members and the business community to support the implementation of various policies that are conducive to industrial and commercial development and social stability, jointly creating better prospects for business operations.