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AmCham Survey Focuses on Air Pollution & Explores Remedies
Urges Speedy Tackling of Ground-level Pollution
October 13, 2008, Hong Kong – A just-released survey of business executives and professionals indicates that although people have little confidence that the overall quality of the environment will improve in the near future, they see possible remedies to various ground-level pollution issues.
“I don’t think anyone will be surprised to learn that our latest Environment Survey places air pollution concerns at the top of people’s environmental concerns,” says AmCham Chairman Steven J. DeKrey. “We hear from government meetings that 99% of the particulate matter component in Hong Kong’s overall air pollution comes from China. But this year’s survey suggests that Hong Kong people can productively focus on other aspects of air pollution, especially ground-level pollution. This is something that residents and the government can of course address together.”
According to the third annual Environment Survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, air pollution and its impact on health, human resources, and foreign investment in Hong Kong continues to significantly damage the SAR’s competitiveness.
A fair proportion of the AmCham members surveyed (40%) indicated they had difficulties in recruiting professionals to work in the territory. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents said they knew of professionals who are thinking of leaving Hong Kong (or have already left) and over half of the respondents (56%) personally knew of professionals who had declined to come to Hong Kong because of the unfavorable environment.
“Following the previous two years’ Environment Survey results, this year’s findings reinforce the reality that air pollution not only threatens our health but also the long-term competitiveness of Hong Kong as a world-class talent center in Asia,” says AmCham Chairman DeKrey. “We realize that everyone is currently focused on the world’s financial services meltdown and the potential impact on Hong Kong. While we are confident that Hong Kong will deal effectively with this issue, at the same time this survey is a reminder that everyone needs to focus on bringing about real improvements in air quality for the SAR’s continued competitiveness.”
Some recommendations from the survey: Rapidly phase out all old diesel vehicles. Introduce clean bus technology. Fully convert minibuses to LPG. Modify Air Quality Objectives to be in line with World Health Organization standards. The survey respondents also indicated that they wanted marked improvements in public transportation development, the expansion of ‘pedestrian only’ zones, and eased traffic pollution through equalizing tolls at the three cross-harbor tunnels.
A significant number of respondents indicated that they were willing to pay for effective initiatives to improve the environment, including the integration of bus routes to increase efficiency, adoption of a traffic congestion scheme, and implementation of measures to ensure the cleanest vehicles remain on the roads.
Notes on the survey. The Environment Survey was commissioned by AmCham and conducted by The Nielsen Company to determine AmCham member views concerning the impact of current environmental quality on investment and human resources planning in Hong Kong.
The respondents consisted of 318 business executives and professionals from among AmCham’s member companies, which collectively employ some 250,000 people in Hong Kong. Comprehensive results from the survey will be published in the October issue of the Chamber’s magazine, AmCham, to be released on October 15.
The online self-administered questionnaire was sent to 1,569 AmCham member company representatives and a total of 318 completed questionnaires were collected between August 5 and September 1, 2008; translating to a reputable response rate of 20 percent.
The study was generously sponsored and supported by: The Executive Centre, ExxonMobil, FedEx, HKUST Business School, Jones Lang LaSalle, Morgan Stanley and Time Warner.
For inquiries, please contact Toni Lau, Press Affairs Manager, AmCham, on 2530-6915, or by email:
About AmCham Hong Kong
AmCham Hong Kong is the largest and most active international business association in the Special Administrative Region, with about 2,000 members, representing almost 800 American, Hong Kong, Chinese and other international companies from over 40 nationalities. Hong Kong imports from the U.S. were US$17.78 billion and its exports to the U.S. were US$ 7.95 billion in 2006. U.S. companies are Hong Kong's largest investors in insurance and second largest in financial institutions and the wholesale, retail and import/export trades. The SAR represents the regional headquarters for about 250 U.S. companies. For more information about AmCham Hong Kong, please visit www.amcham.org.hk
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