The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC; Chinese: 香港總商會) was founded in 1861. It is a self-funding, non-profit organization whose mission is to safeguard and represent trade, service and industry in Hong Kong. It is the most international local business organization, the largest and the most influential chamber of commerce in Hong Kong, with about 4,000 members including multi-national corporations, local companies and Mainland companies.
Advocacy is one of the core functions and strengths of the Chamber. Every year it formulates positions on issues relevant to the business sector and communicates regularly with government officials and policy makers in the form of public campaigns, or position statements delivered to government.
The Chamber is the organization which came up with the concept of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between Mainland and Hong Kong. In a report released in January 2000, the Chamber recommended the possibility of a “regional trade agreement” to enhance trade and economic relations between Hong Kong and Mainland China. The idea was taken positively by the then HKSAR Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, and the discussions between the HKSAR and the Central governments began. After the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, Hong Kong’s economy was given a strong shot in the arm to help it get back on its feet with the signing of CEPA, which gave Hong Kong companies access to the enormous China market.
The Chamber is a strong supporter of environmental protection. The Clean Air Charter was introduced in 2005 to encourage Hong Kong and Guangdong companies to reduce air pollution. More than 600 companies have endorsed the Charter. The Chamber has reduced its electricity consumption by 10% through the introduction of a series of energy-saving measures in 2006. All savings were donated to green organizations
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