President’s memo

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This is the time of year when Christmas music starts blaring across our Hong Kong glitzy shopping malls while executives rush from event to event, and fret over wrapping up end-of-year projects.

A hectic time. A rewarding time too. This is especially so in Hong Kong, where the city’s efficiency and dynamism allow us to tap into multiple events in a single day.

There’s also certainly no shortage of activity at AmCham, with China-U.S. trade tensions continuing to yield some intense and riveting discussion. Not least at our just-completed annual Beijing Doorknock, where delegates met with senior officials and regulators and had a stimulating and vigorous briefing from the U.S. Embassy.

One message was clear during the Beijing Doorknock – while both sides said they were committed to the bilateral relationship and to resolving thorny issues, there remains a sizable gap between respective positions and perspectives that needs closing before that can happen.

We also played host to Charlene Barshefsky who addressed a lively gathering at AmCham’s office. The former U.S. Trade Representative was instrumental in setting U.S. policy that led to China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, a move that has had a profound impact on global trade. Given the latest trade tensions, her visit to Hong Kong was very timely.

Speaking of playing host: Next year’s annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce will be here in Hong Kong, coinciding with our own 50th anniversary celebrations. Along with highlighting Hong Kong as a key international hub for business, AmCham Hong Kong will welcome U.S. business leaders and government officials from across Asia, and from the United States. Our theme for the conference will be “the Future of U.S. Investment and Trade in Asia” at a time of rising competition in a fast developing region.

Keep an eye on your inbox, on our website, and on social media channels for upcoming events and details of the APCAC conference on March 4, 2019. We would love the active participation of our members, companies and regional experts.

Finally, at this time of year when thoughts turn to family and friends, I want to make a special plea to anyone who has any photographs, diary entries or just special memories they want to share from their time with AmCham. We’d love to hear from you and include them in a project of digitizing our archive which is now underway.