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  • Chairman’s View

    Chairman Jimmy Kwok

    Looking Back and Ahead

    Chairman Prof Daniel M Cheng

        The Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) has done a considerable amount of work in the past six months since I took over as Chairman mid last year, including the submissions on Policy Address and Budget, as well as a survey on R&D expenditure among the trade. As I conducted an interview earlier recounting major events in 2017, here I would like to share with you three of my choices.

    Bay Area Development Framework

        The Mainland has seen robust growth in the past two decades, its presence on the global stage has increased drastically which has somewhat overshadowed Hong Kong’s competitive edge. I believe the Bay Area is where Hong Kong’s strength can be best utilised. Following the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Bay Area one-hour living circle is basically in place. Through the connection of information and transportation, couple with cohesion and recognition in areas such as production standards, quality certification, technological experience and professional qualifications, the integration among Bay Area cities is set to take a leap forward. The FHKI will continue to support the authorities in smoothing out the arrangement for flow of talents, goods, capital and information along with tax treatments in the Bay Area.

    I&T Development at the Loop

        The Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park, to be jointly developed by Hong Kong and Shenzhen Governments in the Lok Ma Chau Loop area, is the most important R&D co-operative platform between Hong Kong and China, in my opinion. Being densely populated with a narrow economic base, I&T development has not been Hong Kong’s strongest suit. With 87 hectares of space, the two Governments may take full advantage of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, not only will it be able to attract I&T investments and talents globally and from the Mainland, it can also maximise Hong Kong’s capabilities in foundation research and intellectual properties related areas. I find it particularly suitable for R&D projects that embody Chinese history and culture, such as testing and standardisation of Chinese medicine.

    Abolishing MPF Offsetting Mechanism

        Sitting on the Labour Advisory Board, this is an issue that I deal with heads on. Over the past year, the FHKI attended regular joint associations meetings where the proposal of 1 per cent additional contribution was formulated on behalf of the commercial sector. Despite the uncertainty in development, both of the labour and employer sides are working hard towards a feasible plan that is affordable by the SMEs under the mutual goal of sustainable economic development in Hong Kong. What we do not want, is the deterioration of relationship between labour and employers as SMEs begin to lay off staff by whatever reasons to avoid severance and long service payments after lifting the offsetting mechanism.

        In 2018, members of the FHKI’s new term General Committee will again travel to Beijing to meet with senior government officials, in a bid to reflect Hong Kong industries’ status and needs and thereby facilitating communications between government and business sectors; in view of rising production cost in the Mainland, we also plan on leading members to Southeast Asia countries probing for new investment opportunities; we also place great emphasis on youth development especially those dedicated in industrial careers with strong sense of responsibility. We strive to provide them with ample opportunities, such as nominating them into various government committees, as a way to passing on the spirit of industrialists.

        Although Mainland’s development seems to have outpaced Hong Kong’s in recent years, I do believe that people in Hong Kong, especially the youth, should have faith in themselves, in Hong Kong, and in China, aboard the fast train in national development and make every opportunity count. Lastly, I wish you all best of luck and prosperity in the Year of the Dog!  

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