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Businesses say protests hurt Hong Kong’s reputation, affected investment decisions: poll

THE majority of businesses polled in a survey believe the ongoing protests in Hong Kong have tarnished the city’s business reputation, and this has also affected their decision in future investments there, according to findings by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham).

Among the 120 responses, 80 per cent agreed the protests have affected their decision in investing in Hong Kong in the future.

In addition, 67 per cent of businesses on the whole said the protests have tarnished Hong Kong’s reputation overseas as a regional base of operations for businesses. Breaking the figure down further, however, among businesses that are represented in Hong Kong, 62 per cent held this view. Meanwhile, 74 per cent of businesses that are not represented in Hong Kong held the same view.

However, despite the negative impressions, only 1 per cent say they have plans to move out of Hong Kong, with 23 per cent saying they’re still considering.

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Among this group, an overwhelming 91 per cent said Singapore would be their primary destination if they were to consider moving out of Hong Kong.

AmCham conducted the survey from Aug 21 to 29 to ascertain businesses’ attitudes towards the ongoing situation in Hong Kong, which has entered its 14th consecutive week of protests.

The Hong Kong protests were sparked by a controversial extradition bill that would allow criminals to be tried in China. The bill has been withdrawn, but the protests have evolved into a wider backlash against the government.