Chamber News & Policy Work 2021

The Chamber works closely with business bodies and government to facilitate business opportunities on behalf of our members. We seek to further enhance Hong Kong’s standing and effectiveness as an international business centre.

British Chamber sends a follow-up letter to the Food and Health Bureau and Hospital Authority as part of our Oncology Hong Kong Cancer Care Strategy


Throughout 2021, the BritCham oncology sub-committee met (virtually) on numerous occasions to share information, insight and experience on a wide range of topics relating to cancer and cancer treatments in Hong Kong and elsewhere. We conducted comparative analysis on waiting times and the approval times/enlistment mechanisms for new drugs in Hong Kong and other jurisdictions. The information compiled was reviewed and discussed and a subsequent list of recommendations/ action points were formulated for discussion with you.

We now have more data and have accordingly updated our recommendations/action points and we hope that the Food and Drug Bureau and the Hospital Authority will consider adopting all (or some) of them as we firmly believe that these changes will be beneficial to cancer patients, hospitals, HCPs, industry and Hong Kong

Click here to view the letter.



British Chamber 2021 Policy Matching Exercise


The Chief Executive presented her Policy Address, entitled “Building a Bright Future Together” on Wednesday 6 October. Each year the Chamber submits a paper, ahead of her Policy Address, putting forward the Chamber’s key policy recommendations and suggestions for the Chief Executive and the administration.

We are pleased to recognise that the following key areas of recommendations in our submission are reflected in this year’s Policy Address:

  • Providing further support to SMEs;
  • Reaffirming Hong Kong’s status as the international financial hub;
  • Expanding roles in the GBA;
  • Revamping land supply;
  • Moving towards a Smart-Sustainable-Liveable city;

Our submission draws on the huge range of practical expertise and knowledge across the Chamber membership, in particular in the Chamber’s specialist Committees. We back this up with regular closed door meetings with senior members of the administration; and with stand-alone policy or position papers.

Click here to view the policy matching document.


British Chamber Annual General Meeting Announcement 2021


The British Chamber held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 28 September 2021, together with an Extraordinary Meeting of the Elected Members of its General Committee. 

Peter Burnett, Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong Ltd, was re-elected as Chairman of the Chamber for 2021 – 2022.  

The meetings also saw Anne Kerr, Mott MacDonald, and Jeremy Sheldon, Jones Lang LaSalle Ltd, and James Turner, Prudential plc elected as Vice-Chairs. The meetings recorded that it was the intention of the Elected Members that Anne Kerr work closely with Peter Burnett over the period between now and the Chamber’s next AGM (proposed to be held in the second quarter of 2022) with a view to Dr Kerr stepping up to the Chair role following that AGM (subject to formal approval by the Elected Members at that time).  

To read the full press release, click here. 

To read the Chairman's full report, click here.


BritCham seeks to arrange a meeting with the Financial Secretary for a discussion on the Fiscal Policy


We hope that this could be an opportunity for an informal exchange of views between us with the Chamber providing its perspective on the current business environment in Hong Kong, both the challenges as well as the opportunities.

Click here to view the letter.


British Chamber 2021 Policy Address Submission


On Monday 26 July, the Chamber issued its annual Policy Address Submission which outlines the Chamber’s key priority policy recommendations for the Chief Executive and her administration.

Our theme for this year’s submission is “Building Back Better” and we focus on the policy actions that we believe will best position Hong Kong as it emerges from the COVID pandemic and as it prepares for an expanded role in the GBA.

  • We look forward to an early re-opening of borders, recognising the COVID pandemic control issues that are at stake.
  • The success and vitality of the SME sector, as we emerge from the pandemic, will be critical for the fullest economic recovery for Hong Kong.
  • We propose a number of consultations to ensure that our financial markets are “fit for purpose”, particularly as we respond to the opportunities to support start-up companies, through our public equity markets, green finance, ESG reporting, infrastructure financing (including PPPs), trade finance, digital asset trading, inter alia.
  • We are strong believers in the business opportunities for the GBA and believe that Hong Kong can take an expanded role in realising this potential whilst recognising some of the challenges.
  • Hong Kong has the opportunity to accelerate a number of large construction and infrastructure projects and to develop its Smart City capabilities to a fuller potential.
  • Hong Kong is well positioned to develop its healthcare capabilities by working closely with the private sector in the fields of Digital Healthcare, Cancer Care and Mental Health.
  • Finally, addressing and promoting a more “liveable” and inclusive Hong Kong is as important in our personal lives as it is in our professional lives so that Hong Kong can continue to attract the best international talent.

We have sought to make specific recommendations in all these areas. 

Click here to view the document.


BritCham responds to a letter from the Chief Executive titled 'Early Vaccination for All'


We believe that vaccination will increasingly be integral to allowing borders to reopen, enabling the return to an improved and sustainable business environment as quickly and as safely as possible. It is a vital step in helping Hong Kong to reconnect with the international business community. We acknowledge that business, in addition to Government, has an important role to play in this.

Click here to view the letter.


Chair of the Chambers's Education Committee writes to the Secretary for Education to discuss the regullation of International Schools


The Chair of the Chambers's Education Committee writes to the Secretary for Education, Mr. Kevin Yeung, to discuss the regullation of International Schools. With the supplementary structure in place, we believe that a more permanent change would have considerable benefit and provide recommendations. 

Click here to view the letter.


BritCham writes to Secretary Cheung to discuss quarantine arrangements and vaccination uptake


Within the letter we discuss the impact of the SAR Government’s current response to COVID-19 and in particular the opening of international borders, the current quarantine arrangements, and vaccination rates in Hong Kong.

Click here to see more.

Updates: Please click here to see the letter from the Chief Executive's office in response to the one we sent (above) regarding travel restrictions. 


2021 British Chamber Budget Address Policy Matching and Highlights


Following the Budget Address on Wednesday 24 February, the Chamber has updated our Policy Matching Document which we prepared after the Policy Address to include relevant items from the Budget. The document also highlights areas in the Budget which may be of general interest to members. I hope that you will find this helpful.

Click here to view the policy matching document.


Hong Kong Residents in the United Kingdom


The Chamber urges the HKSARG to relax the current travel restrictions as a matter of urgency and to allow Hong Kong residents to return to their homes and their places of business. A further delay in lifting the current restrictions is hard to justify in light of the UK data, the lockdown measures and the vaccination programme as well as the test and quarantine arrangements in place on arrival in Hong Kong. We believe the chances of importing Covid-19 from returning Hong Kong residents are now de minimis and it has become the compassionate thing to do. Click here to view the letter.

Click here to view the letter.


The Chamber writes a letter to the Chief Executive to express the views of our members on international school enrolment


The Chamber Chairman writed to the Government in relation to the reopening of schools and enrolment situation of international schools. "I appreciate that almost every jurisdiction around the world is having to grapple with the reopening question and I recognise that it requires a balancing of different (potentially competing) interests. I also appreciate the intent behind the recent announcement putting forward a program allowing schools to reopen on a limited basis after Chinese New Year; and to open more fully based on a testing regime for teachers.

Whilst we support all efforts to reopen our schools in a safe and prudent manner, our members have expressed some concern about the proposals to which I wanted to draw your attention."

Click here to view the letter.


The Chamber sends a proposal to the Hong Kong Government for Solvency Capitalisation Scheme


We understand why the Government has been required to tailor the latest version of its financial support scheme to target those business that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. These are expensive schemes. However, we are concerned that insolvencies may now start to rise significantly, particularly in the SME sector, without some additional level of solvency support for those businesses that are not included in the target list.

We would propose, therefore, that the Government consider a scheme which would help with the recapitalization of businesses badly hit by the pandemic in what we are calling a Solvency Capitalisation Scheme (“SCS”). The source of this additional pandemic support funding might be from the Hong Kong Future Fund. The SCS is also designed to function so that the Government maintains an investment interest in participating companies and so reaps the rewards of recovery once COVID is conquered.

Click here to view theletter.


BEPS 2.0 consultation


The Chamber writes a letter to the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr. Christopher Hui, to express our support of AustCham's submission in response to the consultation and its contents.

Click here to view theletter.


Consultation Paper for Raising Penalties of Occupational Health and Safety Legislation


The Chamber's Construction Industry Group (CIG) recognises that the existing framework of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) penalties has not been reviewed for over twenty years and that every accident and fatality is one too many. However, the CIG notes that both the original and revised proposals focus solely on penalties and believes that these, of themselves, will not deliver the desired changes sought and may well operate unfairly in practice.

Set out in the paper are the CIG’s key comments on the revised proposals and their suggestions as to the more holistic approach which could be taken to reduce accidents and fatalities.

Click here to view the full paper.


British Chamber - Future International Talent (FIT) programme

The Chamber is excited to announce our partnership with the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) who have launched a programme that will create 100 full-time entry-level job opportunities for young people within the creative industries sector. The programme is called the Future International Talent (FIT) programme - it is a collaboration between six international Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG).

“We are delighted to be partnering with the CEDB, HKFYG and other Chambers of Commerce on this great initiative. Supporting the future and youth of Hong Kong is an important focus for the Chamber. We look forward to working with our members to provide some exciting job opportunities for the relevant candidates.”

Peter Burnett, British Chamber Chairman.

The full press release can be found here.


British Chamber - Second GBA Position Paper

We shared our first position paper on the GBA in July 2020, covering five key sectors (financial services; logistics; healthcare; education and environment). We subsequently held a very constructive meeting with the Chief Executive and other colleagues to discuss that paper in early September.

We have since sent a second GBA position paper to the Chief Executive which covers the following areas/sectors – Real Estate, Construction and Infrastructure; Information and Technology; SMEs; Retail and Hospitality; Professional Services; Dispute Resolution; and Diversity and Inclusion. As with our first paper, we have included some general commentary together with some specific actionable recommendations for the Government’s consideration drawing from the collective broad experience and expertise of our membership.

We have requested a further meeting with the Chief Executive and members of her cabinet to discuss. We will continue to provide updates on our dialogue with the Government in due course.

In the meantime, the full paper can be found here