The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) welcomes the proposals laid out by Chief Executive Carrie Lam today in her fourth Policy Address. The Chamber believes the initiatives to help Hong Kong through these difficult times, as well as support our development and further integration within the Greater Bay Area, are timely measures that will boost the economy and our future prospects.
Chamber Chairman Peter Wong said: “The Greater Bay Area is the single most important opportunity for growth for Hong Kong, and the region can support our economic recovery. We have been suggesting that the Government capitalize on opportunities in the GBA through a wide range of proposals, so we are pleased to see the Government tapping into the business community’s reservoir of ideas to support Hong Kong and the GBA’s development.”
The Chamber welcomes the Government’s plans to implement a wide range of measures to facilitate smoother travel and cooperation between Hong Kong and other cities in the GBA. The quota-free scheme for Hong Kong private cars travelling to Guangdong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, combined with improving infrastructure, and rationalizing land boundary control points are things that the business community has long been calling for.
Measures to better connect Hong Kong with other cities in the GBA will also help Hong Kong entrepreneurs tap into the Mainland domestic market with the support of one-stop business services, which also include business promotion, development and matching services. We also welcome the expansion of the scope of the SME Export Marketing Fund for two years to cover large-scale exhibitions targeting the local market, which the Chamber’s SME members have been advocating to help their businesses.
The Chief Executive announced initiatives to encourage young people to develop their careers in the GBA, which the Chamber strongly supports. “We hope these measures will help young people in Hong Kong tap into the vast potential that the GBA offers and allow them to advance their careers in this exciting market,” said Wong. “We will be happy to support these measures with the various stakeholders and will be working with our members to see how we can help maximize the success of these initiatives,” said Wong.
As part of this, the Chamber hopes that the Government can continue working towards developing a mutually recognized health code system to resume normal cross-border travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland so that these initiatives can start as soon as possible.
The Chamber also welcomes the Government’s multi-pronged approach to increase the supply of affordable housing, which should help provide short- to medium-term relief to the long-standing housing shortage. Making the best use of brownfield sites, agriculture land and rezoning sites as well as the redevelopment of various areas are all necessary to feed affordable housing units into the housing supply, which is something that the Chamber has been advocating for many years.
In addition to tackling the housing challenge, it is important to restore confidence in the future of Hong Kong both among local young people as well as the international community to regain our reputation and drive Hong Kong’s future development.
“With the measures laid out in the Policy Address, and an effective vaccine expected to be rolled out early next year, now is the time for us all to start rebuilding Hong Kong so that we bounce back as quickly as possible,” concluded Wong.