Chamber News & Policy Work 2022

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.

We are also pleased to share our Policy Brochure which showcases our policy and advocacy work over the past three years. This is a collective effort by all our members and illustrates our commitment to supporting business in Hong Kong. We will continue to work with our members and through our diverse and well-connected community, further their business interests in Hong Kong and thereby promote Hong Kong as a place to live and do business.

Policy Brochure

The Chamber writes to the Chief Executive to open dialogue on sustainable development and decarbonisation in Hong Kong

17/11/2022

Climate Action is one of our key focus areas. The implementation of the Office of Climate Change and Carbon Neutrality is welcomed by the Chamber and we look forward to further developments from, and potential collaboration with, the Hong Kong Government on this topic. Drawing on the considerable expertise and experience in the Chamber’s Environment and Energy Committee we have some further recommendations to be considered to aid the initiatives laid out by the action plan. We have released a paper to the Hong Kong Government to provide suggestions that align with the following themes from their recent manifesto:

  • Financial and non-financial initiatives for attracting and retaining talent and investment
  • Development of the connect schemes to support enhanced connectivity between Hong Kong and the Mainland

Hong Kong has reached a pivotal point in its development where actions taken in respect of sustainable development and decarbonisation will aid its standing globally as well as improving the standard of living for its citizens, in turn becoming a great example for the rest of the Greater Bay Area (GBA). The four key areas we would like to discuss are:

  1. Improving energy efficiency of both old and new buildings
  2. Improving Hong Kong’s waste management systems
  3. Retaining and growing ESG talent
  4. Reducing the carbon footprint of the logistics industry

Click here to read the full letter and recommendations.

 

British Chamber 2022 Policy Matching Exercise

27/10/2022

The HKSAR Chief Executive presented his inaugural Policy Address, entitled “Charting a Brighter Tomorrow for Hong Kong” on Wednesday 19 October. Each year the Chamber submits a paper, ahead of the Policy Address, putting forward the Chamber’s key policy recommendations and suggestions for the Chief Executive and the administration. We are pleased to note that the following recommendations we included in our submission were reflected in this year’s Policy Address:

  • Financial and non-financial initiatives for attracting and retaining talent and investment
  • Development of the connect schemes to support enhanced connectivity between Hong Kong and the Mainland
  • A road to carbon neutrality
  • Measures to increase land supply
  • Measures to improve the livelihood of Hong Kong residents
  • Measures to bring back major events to Hong Kong as we emerge from the pandemic
  • Adoption of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and Government outreach programmes to both business and public communities addressing specific planning processes


Click here to view our Policy Matching document.

 

Dr Anne Kerr Elected as Chair of The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

14/09/2022

The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (the Chamber) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 14 September 2022, together with an Extraordinary Meeting of the Elected Members of its General Committee.

Dr Anne Kerr, Mott MacDonald was elected as Chair of the Chamber for 2022-2023.

In the outgoing Chair’s report, Peter Burnett OBE, BBS, Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong Ltd, looked back on another challenging and busy period for the Chamber and thanked members for their support.

Dr Anne Kerr commented: “I am deeply honoured to be elected as Chair of the Chamber and am delighted that Jeremy Sheldon and James Turner have agreed to continue to be Vice Chairs. The British Chamber of Commerce’s strapline of “where business gets done” is a core principle of the way the activities of the Chamber are perceived. This has never been more critical than at this time as we navigate our way through and out of the global pandemic, and reconnect and make new connections within the many markets and sectors our members work across. We continue to see exciting opportunities both locally, in the Greater Bay Area and beyond. As we see increasing emphasis on decarbonisation strategies and sustainable financing we remain optimistic that in addition to the successes of our traditional businesses and position as a leading international finance centre, we will also see many opportunities for innovation, new technology and service offerings. There remains much to be optimistic about. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the success of Hong Kong, our members and the communities within which we work.” We believe that a focus on these areas will position Hong Kong strongly as we emerge from COVID and open up to the world again to re-establish Hong Kong as Asia’s leading international financial and trading hub, and reinforce Hong Kong’s reputation as an attractive place to live and work."

The Extraordinary Meeting of Directors also re-elected Jeremy Sheldon, Jones Lang LaSalle Ltd, and James Turner, Prudential plc, as Vice-Chairs. Paul McSheaffrey, KPMG, will continue to serve as the Treasurer.

To read the full press release, click here.

 

British Chamber 2022 Policy Address Submission

01/08/2022

On Monday 01 August, the Chamber issued its annual Policy Address Submission which outlines the Chamber’s key priority policy recommendations for the Chief Executive and his administration.

Our theme for this year’s Submission is “Five Steps to Plan Ahead for a Better Tomorrow”, and we have grouped our comments and recommendations under headings as follows:

  • Rebuilding the economy and enabling longer term structural change;
  • Closer economic cooperation with the opportunities of the Mainland;
  • Focusing on change in the public sector;
  • Improving livelihoods in a more liveable city; and
  • Ensuring that Hong Kong’s distinctiveness is maintained and positively promoted.

We believe that a focus on these areas will position Hong Kong strongly as we emerge from COVID and open up to the world again to re-establish Hong Kong as Asia’s leading international financial and trading hub, and reinforce Hong Kong’s reputation as an attractive place to live and work.

Click here to view the document.

 

2022 BritCham Submission on Personal Data Privacy Ordinance

24/06/2022

The purpose of this Submission on behalf of the Data Governance Working Group of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is respectfully to encourage the Privacy Commissioner to develop as an urgent priority Hong Kong’s data laws along the following lines:

  1. Implementation of the remainder of the areas of modernisation of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (“PDPO”) as brought before LegCo in January 2020;
  2. bringing into force Section 33 PDPO;
  3. engagement with other Greater Bay Area authorities to drive cross-border exchanges of data (whether through sandboxes, certified usage or otherwise); and
  4. at the same time, preserving the essence of data protection laws, namely to enhance consumers’ and individuals’ ability to control their data use (rather than data laws acting as instruments of control).

Click here to read the full submission.

 

The Chamber writes a letter to John Lee based on the “Four Tenets of Our Vision” set out in the Election Manifesto. 

25/05/2022

"The Chamber shares your vision for a more liveable, open, vibrant and united city. We are also particularly pleased to see your emphasis on the contribution that the international business community can make to Hong Kong’s success. As one of the largest international chambers in Hong Kong with resources available from both our executive team and our active and supportive membership we are keen to make our contribution to the progress and prosperity of Hong Kong. 

Our submission does not make reference to the way out of the COVID pandemic. We have deliberately focused our attention on the medium- and long-term measures for our city. The easing of COVID restrictions does, however, remain front of mind for many of our members and we do urge a further relaxation of social and border restrictions, particularly quarantine rules and the ongoing flight suspension mechanisms which remain a hindrance to a full realisation of Hong Kong’s economic recovery from the pandemic."

Click here to read the full letter.

 

A letter from Elizabeth Fung, Political Assistant to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong SAR Government regarding permanent residency

05/05/2022

"We hear the concerns on Hong Kong’s talent supply and in this context, we recognise that some clarifications are necessary to address questions around the loss of Hong Kong permanent resident (PR) status. Having consulted the Immigration Department, I write to summarise the clarifications made during our meeting on 11 April."

Click here to read the full letter.

 

 

The Chamber writes a letter to the Chief Executive advocate for Public-Private-Partnerships (“PPPs”)

20/04/2022

The Chamber has long been an advocate for Public-Private-Partnerships (“PPPs”) and has set up a Working Group to focus on the potential to adopt more PPPs or Public-Private-Cooperation models in Hong Kong.

We have a long and successful history of PPPs in Hong Kong which have delivered good results for Government and benefits for the public. The infrastructure pipeline now proposed for Hong Kong, including the Northern Metropolis and the Lantau Tomorrow Vision, is more substantial and significant than ever before. We suggest that it would be very challenging for this pipeline to be delivered and funded solely by Government. We therefore strongly recommend that the private sector be engaged in a material role at the early planning stage to provide design and delivery expertise as well as innovation in financing.

In the attached letter to the Chief Executive, we set out the benefits of getting private sector support, including a number of successful local and international PPP projects for reference, and list of recommendations on how PPP models could be incorporated in future projects.

Click here to read the full letter.

 

The Chamber writes to the Chief Executive to raise two areas for consideration as Hong Kong comes out of the Fifth Wave of Covid-19

07/04/2022

 The Chief Executive held a virtual meeting for the Consul Generals and International Chambers on 28 March which provided an opportunity for a constructive dialogue on the issues which are front of mind as Hong Kong comes out of the Fifth Wave.

Following the meeting, the Chamber sent a letter to the Chief Executive to raise two areas for consideration after further discussion with our members. The two areas of focus within the letter are:

  • 2022 Employment Support Scheme (ESS)
  • Exemptions to COVID restrictions under Cap 599E

Click here to read the full letter.

 

BritCham HK Press Release on the Resignation of UK Serving Judges as NPJ’s on the HK Court of Final Appeal

31/03/2022

The Chamber has released a press release on the resignation of UK serving UK judges as non-permanent judges of the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong.

Click here to read the full press release.

 

The Chamber's response on BEPS 2.0

25/03/2022

The Chamber was pleased to note in the Budget Speech from the Financial Secretary on 23 February that Hong Kong will be preserving the unique advantages of its tax regime in terms of ‘transparency’ and ‘simplicity’, not only will that maintain the territorial source principle of taxation, it is also likely to minimise the compliance burden on multinational enterprises.

Within the Chamber, we have set up a small working group to consider this important initiative and have written a letter to the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury which sets out a number of the issues raised by the working group for further consideration.

Click here to read the full letter.

 

The Chamber writes to the Chief Executive on Combating COVID-19

09/03/2022

 We recognise that the current Covid-19 measures are creating considerable anxiety amongst the international business community and we want to make sure that the Chamber is doing all that it can to support its members and engage with the Hong Kong Government and other stakeholders on their behalf during these difficult times.

The Chamber wrote a detailed letter to the Chief Executive on Wednesday 9 March which we segmented into three stages:

  1. Dealing with the immediate challenges arising from the Fifth Wave;
  2. working through the exit and recovery stage once the current situation is brought under control (hopefully by the end of April); and
  3. the longer-term rebuilding of confidence which will be necessary to re-emphasise Hong Kong’s reputation as the leading international trading and financial centre in Asia.

This is a critical time for Hong Kong; and for the business community to work together with Government to stabilise the situation and move forward in the best interests of Hong Kong.

The Chamber will continue its dialogue on these important matters and share any updates with you.

Click here to read.

 

The Chamber writes to Secretary Yeung in response to recent announcements affecting international schools 

25/02/2022

Following a meeting between the Education Bureau and international school representatives on Wednesday 23 February, the Chamber has written a letter regarding the disruptive effects of the Government’s announcement to change the 2021/22 school calendar. 

Click here to view the full letter.

Updates:

  • Please click here to see a further letter to the Education Bureau on the in-person return to schools post the Easter holidays.
  • Please click here to see the letter from the Education Bureau in response to the one we sent (above) regarding the in-person return to schools post the Easter holidays.

 

2022 British Chamber Budget Address Policy Matching and Highlights

25/02/2022

Following the Budget Address on Wednesday 23 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.

 

The Chamber's SME Committee writes to the Financial Secretary regarding to the most recent meeting 

14/02/2022

Following the most recent meeting between the Financial Secretary and the Chamber's SME and Start-up Committee, the Chamber has written a letter offering our perspective on the relief measures and the impact so far, with comments on three strategic areas. 

Click here to view the full letter.

 

2022 Budget Consultation & Business Engagement Exercise

05/01/2022

The Chamber is grateful to have the opportunity to attend the 2022 Budget Consultation that the Hong Kong SAR Government held with members of the international business community in November 2021 and to put forward our views in person. Peter Burnett, Chairman of the Chamber is has written on behalf of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong with a summary of the recommendations and key priorities we would like to submit for consideration for the 2022 budget.

Click here to read the full letter.