Dear fellow members and friends,

I have had an energizing first year at AmCham, taking up a new role in a chamber that is outstandingly active in both advocacy and networking. It has also been a real pleasure getting to know our diverse membership and our cohesive community of over 600 companies. Leading the largest international business chamber in Hong Kong is both an honor and a privilege, and I fully intend to work with our membership to ensure we are both active and communicative in the year ahead.

It is slightly dizzying to think of all the signature events AmCham has held in 2017, including a celebration of Hong Kong SAR’s 20th anniversary with Hong Kong’s new chief executive, our China conference on “China going global,” and our Women of Influence awards just to name a few. Yet, when I think back on all that I have heard and learned at the Chamber in 2017, the catch-all theme of “embracing disruption” inevitably stands out. Whether in politics, social trends, trade or finance our world is reeling from technological advancement and we must all adapt to it, embrace it, or risk losing our competitive edge.

Nowhere is the impact of technology more keenly felt than in Hong Kong, a free trading, wealthy and dynamic city that has visibly lagged behind in transforming to a digital economy. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has made clear her determination to bring the city up to speed, and AmCham is in full support of her mission to maintain Hong Kong as an important strategic hub for international business.

In 2018, the Chamber will host its first ever Smart City conference, bringing together thought leaders, business leaders and the HK community to secure Hong Kong’s development.

We are also holding a series of talks by C-level tech leaders to keep up-to-date with trends and peek into the future.

Last but not least, I would like to thank outgoing AmCham Chairman Walter Dias for his leadership and unwavering support of the Chamber over the past two years. As Managing Director of Greater China and Korea for United Airlines, Walter already has a demanding schedule. Yet, above and beyond his "day job," Walter has spared no effort in leading AmCham through an important period of change. He is no doubt delighted that the baton is being passed seamlessly to Jack Lange, Partner of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, who has been serving as AmCham Vice-Chairman.

Tara Joseph
The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong