Hong Kong businesses back new security law despite fears

Analysts and members of the business community have said the law could add to the risk and complexity of doing business in Hong Kong, but it is unlikely to spark a mass exodus of foreign firms.

HONG KONG, July 3 (NNN-AGENCIES) — China’s new security law has sent fear coursing through many Hong Kong residents, but the city’s commercial community has largely embraced it as a way to get back to doing business.

The controversial legislation has granted mainland Chinese authorities unprecedented control as they seek to end the protests that plunged Hong Kong into turmoil last year.

Despite warnings from rights groups and legal analysts that it could be a fatal blow to the city’s legal autonomy and political freedoms, many in the business community have welcomed the law as a way to restore stability.

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce described the passing of the law earlier this week as “instrumental in helping to restore stability and certainty to Hong Kong, which has been severely impacted by the social unrest since last year”.

“We need a stable environment which the (security law) aims to provide.”

British banking giants HSBC and Standard Chartered – both with a major presence in Hong Kong and on the mainland – joined other firms in publicly backing the law last month.

Hong Kong stocks rallied almost 3 per cent Thursday, led by property firms with investors betting that the law will restore stability to the city. — NNN-AGENCIES