Bob Adams came to Hong Kong in 1969, the year the American Chamber of Commerce was founded in Hong Kong. Ten years later he was Chairman. 1979 was an extremely important year for the Chamber as China began to open up. The late seventies and early eighties marked a huge turning point in Hong Kong as the territory began its transition from a manufacturing based economy to a service based economy. In 1985 at the request of then Chairman, Gage McAfee, Bob founded AmCham's Government Relations Committee to open up a direct dialogue with the Hong Kong government. Here he reflects on his early memories of Hong Kong upon arrival and his first impressions of China in the seventies.
Mark C Michelson is the Chairman of the Asia CEO Forum at IMA. He moved to Hong Kong in 1980 for one year and stayed rather longer than he expected. During his time as a member of AmCham, he has taken part in a number of important door knocks to both Washington and Beijing, most notably in the aftermath of Tiannenmen Square. Mark served as Chairman of AmCham in 1996, a crucial year for the chamber, just one year before the handover. At the time many commentators were pessimistic about Hong Kong's future, here he explains how the Chamber saw the transition.
Jon Zinke, Partner at Keesal, Logan and Young, moved to Hong Kong in 1985. Like many expatriate Hong Kong residents, he moved here for two years, fell in love with the city and never left. Jon was AmCham Chairman in 2005 when Macau's economy was beginning to take off. As a resident of more than 30 years he's seen Hong Kong survive a number of destabilising events, but it has never shaken his confidence in the territory's resilience.
Rob Chipman is the CEO of Asian Tiger Mobility. He arrived in Hong Kong in 1985 and was immediately struck by the landscape, the energy and the hard-working, welcoming people. Rob served as Chairman in 2011, when the chamber's priorities were the cost of doing business, increasing international school spaces and pollution levels in the city. As a resident of more than 30 years Rob has had first-hand experience of Hong Kong's ability to adapt and reinvent itself. On the 20th Anniversary of the Hong Kong SAR, he still sees plenty of distinctive qualities that set this city apart from others on the mainland.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham) celebrated the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong with American businesses, the expatriate community, local young elites, and top officials from the HKSAR, United States and Mainland Chinese governments on June 8.
Tom Gorman arrived in Hong Kong in 1974, and had a front row seat to the opening up of China's economy. He served as Chairman of the chamber's Board of Governors in 1995 two years before the handover. Here he shares some of his first impressions of Hong Kong in the 70s and what the opening up of China meant to the city.
Peter Levesque is the CEO of Modern Terminals. He has been a member of AmCham for 15 years and served as Chairman of the Board of Governors in 2014 and 2015. Peter arrived in Hong Kong in 1996, one year before the handover. He believes Hong Kong has some unique competitive advantages and a promising future as an international hub, if the city can identify a clear role for itself in the region.
Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive-Elect
CE-Elect Mrs Carrie Lam responded to AmCham in addressing the international business community's concerns ahead of her inaugural. AmCham is pleased to hear reassurance from Mrs Lam that she will safeguard the core values of HK as a world class city; bring back more US and international businesses; and strengthen US-HK cultural ties.