Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
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The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC; Chinese: 香港總商會) was founded in Hong Kong in 1861. It is a self-funding, non-profit organization with about 4,000 member companies. Its stated mission is to safeguard and represent trade, service and industry in Hong Kong. The Chamber 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.
|Legal status||Not-for-profit organisation|
|Purpose||Chambers of commerce in Hong Kong|
|Aron H Harilela|
|Website||Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce|
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1861, just 20 years after the foundation of the Colony of Hong Kong with Alexander Perceval of British owned trading conglomerate Jardine, Matheson & Co as its first chairman. The original membership consisted of 62 companies.
At that inaugural meeting, the Chamber's role was stated to be:
"... to watch over and protect the general interests of Commerce, to collect information on all matters of interest to the Mercantile Community, and to use every means within its power for the removal of evils, the redress of grievances, and the promotion of the common good; to communicate with authorities and other thereupon; to form a code of practice whereby the transaction of business may be simplified and facilitated; to receive references; and to arbitrate between disputants -- the decisions in such references to be recorded for future guidance." 
In HKGCC's report “China’s Entry into the WTO and its Impact on Hong Kong Business”, released on 18 January 2000, one of the key recommendations was to explore the possibility of setting up a regional trade agreement (RTA), also sometimes called a “free trade agreement”, as a concrete means to enhance further integration of trade and economic relations between Hong Kong and Mainland China. After China’s accession to the WTO in 2001, HKGCC once again presented the idea to Tung Chee-hwa, the then HKSAR Chief Executive. The idea struck a chord with Tung who then put forward the RTA concept to the Central Government. On 20 December 2001, Jiang Zemin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, told Tung that the Central Government formally agreed to the suggestion, and consultation would begin immediately.
In January 2002, discussions between the HKSAR and the Central governments formally began, and a regional trade agreement was hammered out and formally named “Mainland/Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement” or CEPA. HKGCC then submitted a paper entitled “Topwards a Regional Trade Agreement between China and HKSAR” to Antony Leung on 21 January 2002, put forward seven principles to guide the discussions on the RTA, emphasizing that CEPA must be compliant with WTO principles.
Despite being put on hold for months due to the outbreak of SARS during March – June 2003, negotiations resumed and CEPA's text was finally concluded by the Central and HKSAR government negotiators, and signed on 29 June 2003.
Good Citizen AwardEdit
HKGCC has been the sole sponsor of the Good Citizen Award since its inception in 1973. The Award rewards citizens who have contributed to the safety of the community by assisting the police catch criminals. The scheme was set up as part of the first Fight Crime Campaign, funded by donations from Chamber members and the community. Over the years, more than 3,600 citizens have been commended for their bravery in combating crime.
The Chamber claims to support environmental protection. In partnership with Hong Kong Business Coalition on the Environment, 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.
List of ChairpersonEdit
Certificates of Origin ServicesEdit
The Chamber provides certification services in 7 districts in Hong Kong, and is by far the biggest location network in Hong Kong. The Certificates of Origin, Document Endorsement, Consulate Endorsement Facilitation and Paper to EDI Conversion issued are fully recognized by consulates, banks and customs houses throughout the world.
- Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce official website
- Ngo, Tak-Wing, ed. (2002). Hong Kong's History: State and Society Under Colonial Rule. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-20305-0. p. 128
- "HKGCC official website"
- "" History HKGCC official website
- Mainland China / Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement Business Assessment--Executive Summary A Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Report, November 2003
- Annex I and Annex II, Mainland China / Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement Business Assessment--Executive Summary A Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Report, November 2003
- Clean Air Charter official website
- Certificate of Origin Service, HKGCC Official website