Survey highlights increased pessimism over Hong Kong’s long-term business prospects

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October 14, 2019 – Hong Kong – As months of protests weigh on sales, corporate operations and the wellbeing of employees, almost half of the respondents to AmCham’s latest temperature-testing survey say they are pessimistic about Hong Kong’s long-term future.

The survey asked member companies’ about their latest risk assessment of Hong Kong, the impact on their businesses, headquarter-level business strategies and short-to-medium-term plans as a result of recent unrest.

Over half of the companies (61%) surveyed have started to feel the heat as they consider moving operations from Hong Kong, making contingency plans, or have had difficulties hiring people from overseas while also experiencing a talent drain.

82% have had regular headquarter-level discussions on crisis management, staff handling to cope with social divide and distress, as well as adjustments to operational and investment strategies.

“The fact that a majority of companies surveyed say they will not leave the city highlights the importance of Hong Kong as a strategic and irreplaceable business hub for Asia; But the increasing risks still serve as a factor which may eventually push them out,” said Tara Joseph, AmCham President.

“This survey should sound as an alarm bell for all who value Hong Kong as a vibrant business hub with rule of law and free flow of information. It’s crucial now to see an end to violence and for the government to step up and promote reconciliation before Hong Kong’s long-term reputation faces permanent damage,” Joseph said.

Below are some key takeaways and findings from AmCham’s latest temperature-testing survey:

  • 46% are pessimistic about Hong Kong’s long-term prospects, up from 34% in AmCham’s July poll
  • 7% were either optimistic or remained the same about Hong Kong’s business outlook, down from 20% on the same question in July poll.
  • 61% have seen business affected to a medium and great extent
  • 31% now rate Hong Kong as “high” or “extremely high” risk
  • An average of 6 – 10 meetings had to be adjusted or cancelled due to the recent events.
  • 24% are considering scaling back or moving away from Hong Kong. Singapore remains the top destination for back-up plan.
  • Despite the above findings, 76% do not think their companies are considering moving capital, assets or business operations from Hong Kong.

Complete results of the survey are available at: https://amcham.org.hk/uploads/media/default/0001/08/245b5b54b4bd5ce3c8c209b862f9671b693c5f8b.pdf

Survey Enquiry: 

Mr. Ben Richardson

Content Editor

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Media Contact: 

Ms. Queenie Tsui 

Manager, Government Relations & Public Affairs  

E-mail: [email protected]      

 

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The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham) is one of the largest American Chambers outside the United States, the largest international chamber in Hong Kong, and one of the most dynamic and influential international business organizations in the Asia-Pacific region. AmCham’s mission is to foster commerce among the United States, Hong Kong, and Mainland China; and to enhance Hong Kong's stature as an international business center.