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Published: 11:20, May 10, 2022 | Updated: 13:45, May 10, 2022
Business leaders pin high hopes on John Lee
By Oswald Chan in Hong Kong
Published:11:20, May 10, 2022 Updated:13:45, May 10, 2022 By Oswald Chan in Hong Kong

Chief executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu gestures after winning the 2022 Chief Executive Election at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, May 8, 2022. (ANDY CHONG/ CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong’s business sector expressed confidence that chief executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu can revive the city’s battered economy and bolster its competitiveness by further integrating the city into the nation’s development.

They said Lee can build a safe and stable business environment to accelerate the city’s economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthen the city’s overall competitiveness, and integrate Hong Kong into national development under the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area blueprint.

They made the remarks after Lee won the chief executive election with 1,416 Election Committee member votes, about 99 percent of the 1,428 members who cast ballots and far surpassing the threshold of 750 votes needed to win the election.

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce — the special administrative region’s oldest and largest business group representing multinational companies — said it is confident that Lee will lead Hong Kong through these challenging times and create a prosperous and secure future.

READ MORE: Central govt officials vow full support for John Lee

“The chamber looks forward to working with the new administration to help Hong Kong rebound from the pandemic and reinforce its position as Asia’s leading business hub,” HKGCC Chairman Peter Wong Tung-shun said.

We believe Lee can build a safe and stable business environment for companies and investors. He should strive to resuming quarantine-free travel with the mainland so that Hong Kong can perform its economic functions rapidly.

Allen Shi, President, CMA

The business environment of Hong Kong has faced unprecedented challenges in the last two years, as enterprises in the city have had to deal with an unstable external environment and adapt to the new normal of the digital economy, according to the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong — one of most prominent industrial chambers in the city.

“We believe Lee can build a safe and stable business environment for companies and investors. He should strive to resuming quarantine-free travel with the mainland so that Hong Kong can perform its economic functions rapidly,” CMA President Allen Shi Lop-tak said.

“CMA will communicate and cooperate with the new government to fortify and leverage the niches of the city’s traditional industries to diversify the city’s economy, and proactively to find new opportunities through the building of the Greater Bay Area,” Shi added.

The Federation of Hong Kong Industries, which represents the industrial sector, welcomed Lee’s forward-looking policy directions, as clearly stated in his commitment to develop Hong Kong into an international information and technology center. This would facilitate Hong Kong’s reindustrialization by enhancing an ecosystem of research, “innofacturing” and finance; attracting talent; boosting the Northern Metropolis plan; and seizing the opportunities in the Greater Bay Area.

“We’re confident that Lee, in adopting a results-oriented approach, will be able to invite capable individuals to join his administration in executing policies and fulfilling his election promises, especially in propelling information and technology development, reindustrialization, the Northern Metropolis plan and Greater Bay Area integration,” FHKI Chairman Sunny Chai Ngai-chiu said.

“We hope that Lee will further consider restoring normal travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, as well as overseas destinations, at an opportune time so that Hong Kong will continue to grow and prosper as an international financial center and a key travel hub,” he said.

The Liberal Party — representing the Hong Kong business sector in the Legislative Council — said it hopes Lee can kick-start the city’s economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding restoring the city’s business competitiveness, it hopes Lee can develop Hong Kong as an international technology and innovation hub to foster economic transformation, and can cement the city as the cultural nexus of the Greater Bay Area.

“We also hope the chief executive-elect can utilize the unique advantages of ‘one country, two systems’ to integrate with national development amid the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Greater Bay Area blueprint,” the party said.

ALSO READ: Liaison chief: John Lee choice of the people

Wong Ping-fung, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Chinese Business, praised Lee’s pragmatic and results-oriented approach, saying he believes Lee can deliver on his election manifesto and move Hong Kong forward.

The Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association said it believes Lee is capable of leading the SAR as it works to improve the people’s livelihoods and deep-rooted social problems, and build a vibrant, open, united, stable and happy Hong Kong. 

Contact the writer at oswald@chinadailyhk.com

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