Businesses suffer amid ongoing Hong Kong protests

Business confidence continues to suffer in Hong Kong as the current unrest shows no sign of abating. Companies are beginning to realise the challenge of managing continued uncertainties as the former British colony’s government struggles with its biggest political crisis since the return to Chinese rule in 1997.

A protest movement initially focused on an extradition bill has now mushroomed into a frontal challenge to the CCP's authority, and protesters temporarily blocked morning commuters at a major transit station in Admiralty, in central Hong Kong, causing further disruption.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said Monday (29th July) that its members were already reporting "serious consequences" from the disruption felt from weeks of mass demonstrations. Meanwhile, global businesses are feeling cynical about short-term expectations, with increased violence and political bluffing indicating that Hong Kong is a risky place to do business.

Difficulties range from short-term revenue hits caused by disruption to supply chains and consumption, to longer-term uncertainties over cancelled activities and deferred investments. The protests have immobilised areas of the financial district, shut government offices and disrupted business operations across the city.

Mass demonstrations are starting to take their toll on the financial hub’s economy as global luxury retailers have revealed a negative effect on sales because of store closures and decreased tourist trade.

The city’s reputation among investors as a stable environment for business has taken a hit, and the economic downturn, alongside external factors like the US-China trade war and frictions in the technology industry, will inevitably impact the market.

Historically, Hong Kong has proven resilience in the face of crises, but to successfully navigate uncertainty in this complex economic environment, shareholders, investors and businesses require even stronger capabilities to master risk management.

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