A letter from AmCham President Tara Joseph

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Business and politics make for uncomfortable bedfellows. Which is why AmCham takes a public stance in opposition to government policy with great reluctance and only after much soul searching and discussion.

Our opposition to the Hong Kong government’s proposed amendments to the law on extradition has put us into the headlines of what has become one of the year’s major global news stories.

This is not the spotlight of attention we seek. But nor is it one we should shrink from.

AmCham is a business organization centered on shared values. Those values include upholding the rule of law and the open and free society that are among Hong Kong’s biggest competitive advantages as a commercial and financial hub.

Our members depend on and prize Hong Kong’s reputation as a center of excellence for the rule of law. They also look to Hong Kong for its good governance, global connectivity and stable, safe environment. These factors all help draw the deep pool of talent upon which the city’s future prosperity will depend.

With its independent legal system and robust public institutions, Hong Kong’s attractiveness is also burnished by the fact it stands apart from mainland China. It is that autonomy under One Country, Two Systems which underpins Hong Kong’s trading and commercial relations with other economies.

All of these were placed at risk by the proposed legislation, and AmCham warmly welcomes the government’s decision to shelve the bill.

We now hope to reopen our dialogue with the government as soon as possible to share in the mutual goal of enhancing Hong Kong as a leading international business center and to restore the confidence of all our members in the unique and precious city we call home.