“The Chamber has high hopes and expectations for Chief Executive CY Leung. We value Mr. Leung’s down-to-earth approach in tackling Hong Kong’s domestic issues, as well as strengthening Hong Kong’s status as Asia’s world city,” AmCham President Richard Vuylsteke says.
AmCham shares the overall vision in Mr. Leung’s first Policy Address presented to the Legislative Council today. Not only does Hong Kong have the strong backing of China but it is also positioned to naturally benefit from the economic growth of the Asia Pacific region. Nevertheless, as well noted by Mr. Leung, the city as a regional and international hub cannot afford to lose its relevance and competitiveness.
The Chamber recognizes the significance of “sustained economic growth” and Hong Kong’s indispensable role contributing to China’s economic reform and liberalization. It supports the establishment of the Financial Services Development Council and the Economic Development Council.
In line with China’s 12th Five Year Plan and CEPA, Hong Kong is a role model in city planning, management expertise, global branding, worldwide distribution channels, technology and innovations, particularly for the services industry. It is also a “springboard” for Chinese domestic firm to “go global”. It should take full advantage of its unique offshore RMB business center position as “testing ground” to realize currency convertibility as well as to innovate and diversify products.
The continuous success of the city is contingent upon the two important quality of life issues, environment and education. The Chamber supports a road map with clear objectives to tackle issues concerning air quality, waste management, fuel mix, energy conservation, emission reduction, and resources recovery. AmCham cannot stress enough the importance for Hong Kong to take the lead and aim to achieve the more aggressive “Final” Air Quality Objectives (AQO) targets.
AmCham is pleased to see government’s will to adopt strong “carrots and sticks”, for example, the HK$10 billion proposal to phase out old diesel commercial vehicles, the proposal to impose a 15-year service life limit for new diesel commercial vehicles, and the proposals to facilitate traffic diversion. The Chamber urges the responsible government bureaus to continue taking bold steps in addressing these issues.
On education, the Chamber agrees that the government needs to take into account of the changing student population. It recommends the government to address the acute shortage of international school spaces symptomatic of the lack of planning model. Further, it supports the proposed education and training system for young people integrating academic studies and interest with professional and vocational training to meet 21st century business requirements. A structured and transparent approach to support long term and quality education will position Hong Kong effectively as a key source of internationally capable talent for a global China.
For inquiries, please contact Ms. Ming-Lai Cheung, Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs, by phone: (852) 2530 6927, or by email: [email protected].