The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong welcomes the initiatives announced in the Chief Executive’s second Policy Address, with a focus on livelihood issues and a long-term development plan. We are pleased that many of the initiatives announced address issues raised in the Chamber’s submission to the Chief Executive as part of her consultation exercise.
The Chief Executive’s ambitious plans with land reclamation off Lantau Island and brownfield development in the New Territories would mean a generational change for Hong Kong, a city not afraid of an infrastructure challenge.
Alongside these major announcements are a raft of initiatives which will, if implemented, enhance Hong Kong’s international status as a free, open, and more liveable city operating under the principle of ‘one country, two systems’, as well as providing extra funding to nurture the city’s youth through education to greater levels of care for our ageing population.
Within the 250 policy initiatives in the Policy Address, many relate to issues of interest and concern to our members that were included in our submission to the Chief Executive.
We are pleased to see recognition of the creative industries with further support of the Hong Kong Design Centre and funding towards a new centre in Wan Chai to highlight design.
The Chamber has actively promoted innovation in the construction industry and we acknowledge the support the industry will receive from government in the pursuit of best practise through innovation, training, as well as putting in place measures to ensure greater transparency in the oversight of major projects.
We also welcome the support the government is proposing to put into boosting Hong Kong as a maritime hub through tax exemptions and vocational training. The Chamber also applauds the efforts announced to rejuvenate Hong Kong’s manufacturing base.
In our submission the Chamber highlighted the importance of quality of life by making Hong Kong a smarter and more liveable city. These factors can make the difference in a company’s decision where to be based and also in attracting staff. The government must pursue initiatives which make the city an attractive option in an increasingly competitive region.
We fully endorse measures announced such as extended maternity leave and child support as key in supporting women to participate in the workforce. We applaud Mrs Lam’s call for Hong Kong listed companies to appoint more women to boards. We know that greater diversity means better decision-making. Extra funding for ethnic minorities will also make Hong Kong a more inclusive society and ensure greater diversity.
Now the hard work now starts through a process of consultation and engagement by government, with business, with legislators, and, most importantly, with the community at large to explain these policy initiatives. AustCham looks forward to being a part of that dialogue.
For more highlights, please see here.
A reminder of our AustCham policy submission here.