Written by: Zhai Ziqian
Last update date: 2021-05-17 08:00
In recent years, the political atmosphere in Hong Kong is tense. The struggle between China and the United States, local social movements, and the implementation of the "Hong Kong National Security Act" have all made everyone concerned about whether the competitiveness and business environment of this international city have been affected.
According to the latest survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham), 42% of surveyed members are considering or planning to leave Hong Kong, and 62% of them say that the National Security Act is disturbing.
The chairman of the chamber of commerce, Tara Joseph, was interviewed when attending an event at the School of Economics and Management of the University of Hong Kong. She repeatedly emphasized that the most important core of Hong Kong lies in the rule of law, which is the reason why foreign companies choose to do business in Hong Kong.
Tara Joseph pointed out that the current rule of law in Hong Kong is not significantly worsening, but he believes that changes have taken place, making everyone question the protection of the rule of law and the comfort of the company's operations in Hong Kong.
Regarding the "Minato National Security Act," Tara Joseph avoided direct discussions about politics, but reiterated that he had reported to the government and others the concerns of the chambers of commerce and members, and revealed that the dialogue is still ongoing.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong announced a survey that 42% of the chamber’s members are about to leave Hong Kong or plan to leave Hong Kong in the next 3 to 5 years. The biggest reason is that Beijing began to force a national security law in Hong Kong at the end of June last year.
(Information Picture/Photographed by Lin Zhendong)
Headquarters of large multinational companies withdrew from Hong Kong
A recent survey report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong pointed out that 42% of the chamber’s members are about to leave Hong Kong or plan to leave Hong Kong in the next three to five years. The biggest reason is that Beijing began to force a national security law in Hong Kong at the end of June last year.
Tara Joseph said that he could not provide the actual number of members who have left Hong Kong, but revealed that large multinational companies have already withdrawn their headquarters from Hong Kong.
However, she emphasized that some companies have more than 2,000 employees, and it is not possible to give up the history and value of operating in Hong Kong for many years.
Tara Joseph further supplemented the findings of the survey report, pointing out that there is an increasing trend of planned withdrawal from Hong Kong, and some of the opinions in the questionnaire are from individuals rather than businesses.
She pointed out that foreign companies need top international talents to operate in Hong Kong, and whether talents choose to stay in Hong Kong will take different factors into consideration.
She pointed out that under the National Security Act, foreign employees have many concerns, including the comfort of life in Hong Kong, data security, and the free flow of information.
Two systems, RMB window is the status of Hong Kong and China National Finance
When asked whether the status of Hong Kong as an international financial center will be surpassed by other cities in China, Tara Joseph pointed out that Hong Kong can still maintain its status as an international financial center for some time. This is based on the two systems (Two Systems) and the status of the RMB window.
She emphasized that the current core role of Hong Kong cannot be replaced by other Chinese cities, and this unique position is buying more time for Hong Kong not to be pursued.
The GDP of Foshan, which belongs to the Greater Bay Area, was ranked 16th in the top 100 list last year.
Tara Joseph emphasized that the two systems are absolutely the cornerstone of foreign capital's recognition of Hong Kong, and the basis for Chinese capital to flow overseas and foreign capital into China. At the same time, Hong Kong's legal system and strong regulatory system have consolidated Hong Kong's position.
She added that the two first-tier cities, Shenzhen and Shanghai, do not have windows for Hong Kong's international capital and RMB, and they have differences in regulatory and legal systems.
If Hong Kong and mainland cities are undoubtedly foreign investors are more inclined to develop the Greater Bay Area
In recent years, both the government and foreign capital have emphasized the opportunities in the Greater Bay Area. Regarding whether there is a contradiction between the withdrawal of Hong Kong and the embrace of the Greater Bay Area, Tara Joseph pointed out a key point. Foreign capital will choose China.
The reasons include that Hong Kong’s living and business costs are too expensive, and Shenzhen is also very competitive, full of business opportunities and capital. The entire Greater Bay Area is a big market, and Hong Kong is only one of the small markets.
She reiterated that Hong Kong currently has free flow of information and a larger international population, but these will change. When Hong Kong or other cities in the Greater Bay Area enjoy the same benefits, foreign investors will naturally choose a larger market.
Hong Kong Economic and Financial Industry Hong Kong Version of the National Security Law