Survey by Six Major Business Chambers Shows 90% of Member Respondents Support Constitutional Reform Proposals

  

For Immediate Release

At a press conference jointly held today by The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, The Federation of Hong Kong Industries, The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Chinese Importers’ & Exporters’ Association (the six major business chambers), announced the results of a survey of members to gauge their views on the specific constitutional proposals for selecting the Chief Executive by universal suffrage. Over 90% of members polled said they support the proposals. They believe that LegCo members should vote to adopt the proposals, because the package will create favorable conditions that will underpin the continuous and stable development of Hong Kong’s economy and social well-being.

Surveyed Members Look Forward to LegCo’s Approval

The survey was conducted between 28 April and 15 May by sending out questionnaires to members of the six major business chambers. A total of 2,561 completed questionnaires were received. According to the results, 90.8% of the respondents support the HKSAR Government in its proposals for implementing the Method for Selecting the Chief Executive by Universal Suffrage in 2017 in accordance with the Basic Law and the “8.31 Decision” made by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Only 5.6% of respondents expressed they do not support the proposals. Furthermore, 91.1% of surveyed members opined that if the majority of society is in favor of adopting the universal suffrage proposals, LegCo members should respect public opinion and vote for the proposals. Only 3.8% of the respondents expressed that councilors should not cast their votes for the proposals and 5.1% had no comment.

Passage of the Proposals Constructive to Hong Kong’s Stable Development

The business sector has long placed great emphasis on the importance of Hong Kong’s constitutional development. The majority of businesses believe that constitutional development will have a significant impact on Hong Kong’s overall development and on the future business environment. The survey results also revealed that nearly 90% of surveyed members agree that the LegCo’s endorsement of the proposals for selecting the CE through universal suffrage in 2017 will be favorable for implementing “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong (89.9%), and that it will help Hong Kong’s democracy development leap forward (89.6%). Respondents also indicated that the passage of the proposals is constructive to the continuous development of the Hong Kong economy (89.7%), and it is beneficial for maintaining social stability (88.6%).

Majority of Respondents do not Support Councilors’ Veto Proposals

The survey also asked if respondents’ level of support for LegCo members would be affected if legislators vetoed the universal suffrage proposals. Some 80.6% of surveyed members said they will be less supportive towards legislators who vetoed the proposals when the next District Council or LegCo election came around. Some 7.8% respondents indicated that legislators’ decision on the proposals would not change their degree of support, while 7.6% of respondents did not have any comment on the question.

Business Sector Supports Electing the CE through “One Person, One Vote”

The local business community is generally supportive for the gradual and orderly constitutional development in accordance to the law to take place in Hong Kong. It also hopes that LegCo will endorse the proposal for universal suffrage of the CE election, so that 5 million eligible voters will be able to exercise their voting rights and elect the Chief Executive by “one person, one vote” in 2017. The six major business chambers believe that the universal suffrage proposals announced by the HKSAR Government already take into account the views from various segments of society, and that the Government has made every endeavor to balance the requests of different communities of our society within the framework of the Basic Law and the “8.31 decision” of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The proposals reflect the actual circumstances of Hong Kong and will be favorable for the stable development of the SAR in the long run. The proposals provide a constitutional, reasonable and feasible approach to achieve “one person, one vote” universal suffrage for the CE election.

The six major business chambers pointed out that society’s voice is growing louder and louder in the hope that legislators will implement universal suffrage for the 2017 CE election. A number of polls conducted by different organizations have shown that the majority of Hong Kong citizens are in favor of the constitutional reform proposals. Results from the survey of our members further substantiate the aspirations of different sectors of society, in particular, the business sector’s wish that the proposals will be implemented. The six major business chambers would like to reiterate that the business sector generally backs the Government’s proposals for CE election, and our stance towards constitutional reform is clear, i.e. we support the implementation of the 2017 CE election through universal suffrage. We believe that it is undoubtedly a major step forward in Hong Kong’s constitutional development when the Election Committee comprising of 1,200 members is expanded to allow ‘one person, on vote’ by all 5 million Hong Kong eligible voters. Passing the proposals will improve Hong Kong’s business environment along with the territory’s economy and continuous stable development.

The business sector forms an integral part of Hong Kong’s society. It is committed and contributes substantially to promoting economic prosperity and stability and to the harmonious development of society. The six major business chambers urge LegCo councilors to listen to the business community and mainstream opinion of Hong Kong people, and support the voices that are in favour of conducting the Chief Executive’s election through universal suffrage. We ask LegCo members to put aside minor differences and seek common ground, to narrow any gaps and to adopt a rational and pragmatic attitude to support the constitutional reform proposals. By doing so, all eligible voters in Hong Kong can take part in the “one person, one vote” system two years from now to elect their next Chief Executive for the first time. This move will start a new chapter in the constitutional development of Hong Kong.

The chiefs of the six major business chambers, including Chairman Y. K. Pang of The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Chairman Charles Yeung of The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce; President Eddy Li of The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong; Chairman Stanley Lau of The Federation of Hong Kong Industries; Chairman Stewart Leung of the Executive Committee of The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong and Chairman Charles Cheung of The Hong Kong Chinese Importers’ & Exporters’ Association were all present at the press conference to present the survey results and to respond to media questions. The vice chairmen/ vice presidents of various chambers also attended the event to show their support.