Regina Ip meets British Chamber of Commerce
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The next administration needs to set up a Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME) support department to help new start-up companies establish themselves in Hong Kong.

This was the recommendation of Chief Executive candidate Mrs. Regina Ip to representatives of the British Chamber of Commerce yesterday (Thursday). The Chamber had asked for a small business start-up policy from the government to help new companies overcome problems of labour, opening bank accounts, access to technology etc. Singapore, they said, was better organised than Hong Kong.
The Chamber put forward a whole range of subjects including business policies, environment and energy, education, labour and land usage.
Mrs. Ip said that at most of the meetings she’s attended with a wide range of interest groups, labour and land seemed to be the underlying complaint. Even the fishermen, she said, complained of a labour shortage. She noted that the labour shortage was not mentioned in the CE’s Policy address. It was a subject was completely ignored by the government.
The problem, said Mrs. Ip, was that the government was ill fitted and needed restructuring. She cited as an example that housing and land were inter-related but were delegated to two separated bureaux.
The Lands, Planning and Housing Bureau should be established to streamline the process. The Transport and Housing Bureau should be reformed as the Transport and Works Bureau. Maritime and civil aviation matters should return to Commerce and Economic Development Bureau. The current system, she said was unsatisfactory and the work of some bureaux was too broad and overburdened the secretaries.
Mrs. Ip said if elected she would reorganise her team, mostly drawn from those with some dealings or civil service experience. She said there was not enough being done to market financial services in Hong Kong and her Financial Secretary would probably be someone outside the civil service, but with civil service knowledge.
The representatives of the 1,200-strong Chamber also raised the issue of education and English language proficiency as well as the affordability of schools.

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