Regina Ip meets Employers’ Federation of Hong Kong
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Chief Executive candidate Mrs. Regina Ip stated on 23 January that the next administration need to do more to improve the Executive-Legislative relations. "The filibustering in the Legislature has affected the funding for a lot of government projects; this will affect the long term development of Hong Kong."

She made the remarks to representatives of the Employers’ Federation of Hong Kong which included Ricky W.K.Wong (Wheelock and Co. Ltd.), Alexander Arena (Hong Kong Telephone), Dr. John Chan (Long Win Bus Co. Ltd.), Dr. Kim Mak (Asia Year Ltd.), John Slosar (Swire Pacific Ltd.), Patrick Tsang (Chow Tai Fuk Enterprises), Robert Chow (Hong Kong Land Group) and Louis Pong (Employers’ Federation of Hong Kong).

“There have been many complaints about poor leadership and lack of management by the government. There are too many square pegs in round holes and officials whose broad-based backgrounds are not ideal for the posts they hold.” she said.
Where necessary she would draw people from the private sector with public sector experience who are more pro-business and able to inject new thinking into government.

During the meeting, she spoke of the ageing population (“we need to do better for older people with fewer assets”), competitiveness of Hong Kong, youth aspiration, land, government bureaucracy, retirement protection, standard working hours, support for SMEs, telecommunications, etc.

Mrs. Ip thinks Hong Kong still has a lot of opportunities for growth but the government’s economic policies are not sufficiently proactive. “We face labour shortages, especially in the construction and catering industries and we need to reconsider allowing importation of labour at an appropriate rate to increase productivity. Hong Kong has a diverse economy, I don’t think uniformly imposing standard working hours across all industries is practical.”

Representatives also showed concern about education and how it might improve youth’s job prospects. “There is lack of resources to promote vocational training when compared to the amount of investment we make in higher education. The next administration should encourage technology adoption amongst youth so as to improve the economy’s general competitiveness. ”

On youth, Mrs. Ip said those supporting separatism or independence are very small in numbers. “Many young people don’t realise we are becoming more dependent on China for their livelihood. We need to increase Hong Kong’s long-term competitiveness and ride on the economic rise of China to achieve a win-win situation. ”

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