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Environment Will Continue to Be 'Good'
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An overwhelming 98 percent of 213 Amcham member companies polled during its latest economic outlook survey gave either "very satisfactory" or "somewhat satisfactory" ratings on the overall business environment in Hong Kong, up two percentage points from the previous year.

More than half of the respondents also forecast that the business environment would continue to be "good" for their companies for the next two years.

Commissioned by Amcham, the survey was conducted by ACNielsen in October and November last year. Questionnaires were mailed to 757 company representatives and individual members. The response rate was 28 percent with a margin of error +/- 3.4%.

Among the respondents, 55 percent of the companies are based in the United States, 29 percent in Hong Kong and 3 percent in the United Kingdom.

Half of the respondents said they would expand their businesses in Hong Kong and hire more staff in the next three years.

Only 8 percent have plans to gradually downsize and 9 percent may reduce staffing levels.

Asked about benefits of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), half of the companies said their businesses had not benefited because either they were not relevant or CEPA's terms of reference did not apply to their industries.

Those who had, cited an improved level of market access to the Chinese mainland, the ability to set up wholly owned foreign enterprises, and a reduction in business entry costs.

Business outlook for the mainland also continued to be upbeat, with 94 percent of respondents rating the outlook in 2007 as "good" or "satisfactory".

A majority - 93 percent - of respondents whose companies have operations on the mainland said they planned to make additional investments over the next three years. Among those with no operations in China, 45 percent said they planned to enter the Chinese market during the same period.

(China Daily June 22, 2007)

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