AmCham HK’s 2024 Members Business Sentiment Survey
Members See Concerns while Adjusting to New Environment
JANUARY 30, 2024 – HONG KONG – The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (“AmCham”) released its 2024 Members Business Sentiment Survey Findings Report today.
The Survey, which was conducted between November 16 and December 29, 2023, is AmCham’s annual exercise to gauge views of senior corporate members on wide-ranging topics such as Hong Kong’s business outlook, business environment, legal considerations, US-China relations, human resources, Greater Bay Area, and other sector-specific topics.
One year after Hong Kong reopened post-Covid, this Survey shows that members continued to worry about US-China relations and overseas perception of Hong Kong. These two plus the new concern this year about the slow Chinese economy were the top 3 looming issues impacting business in 2024. Because of that and a slower Hong Kong economic recovery, 26% of respondents reported they were pessimistic about the business outlook for the next 12 months. 60% surveyed companies were adopting a “staying put” approach in their investment and hiring plans in 2024.
However, members were adjusting to the new environment and business performances were steady, with 96% assessing the business in the past 12 months to be fair-to-excellent. In fact, 81% recorded the same or an increase in revenue in 2023 compared to 2022. 76% of respondents regarded Hong Kong as a competitive international business hub in Asia – owing to the city’s international connectivity, free flow of capital and its low and simple tax system, legal and regulatory system, etc, and 78% had no plans to move their regional headquarters away from Hong Kong in the next 3 years.
Locally, companies reported that foreign businesses were still largely welcomed in Hong Kong. 68% viewed the Hong Kong Government as effective in responding to business concerns and opportunities, and 89% viewed it as supportive in the development of innovation and technology. Members also expressed confidence in Hong Kong’s rule of law (79%) and data freedom (82%), and fewer companies (31% in 2024 vs 38% in 2023) had been negatively impacted by the National Security Law. Of the 31%, 65% said the effects were indirect and 35% said they were direct. Nevertheless, the high costs of living and doing business, and talent availability made Hong Kong less competitive vis-à-vis its regional peers.
Other key findings include:
- Despite the government’s commitment to supporting financial services, there was a mixed picture of Hong Kong’s regional competitiveness in the industry due to the slowdown of capital market activities in Hong Kong, geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China, and a limited regulatory governance framework on virtual assets
- Despite the potential opportunities, companies were hesitant about expanding their operation to the Greater Bay Area (GBA) due to policy and regulatory uncertainty and a lack of policy coordination between GBA governments, as well as local competition
- 72% of the respondents thought Hong Kong would, to a great or moderate extent, remain to be a preferred destination for arbitration and dispute resolution. On the other hand, some noted that Hong Kong was also facing regional competition with other destinations that were perceived to have a more stable legal and political environment
The survey – following a revamp in survey content, format, and targeted respondents – was sent to the top representative of 522 corporates and the report reflects the views of 136 corporate members with a response rate of 25%. The report serves as a useful reference for companies and executives to navigate through the changing business landscape regionally and globally.
The full detailed report is now available here.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms. Carman Ngai
Assistant Manager, Corporate Affairs