Agenda 'ignores growth of business'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 October, 1999, 12:00am

Young businessmen and women have criticised the Chief Executive for failing to position the SAR as the world's commercial hub in his Policy Address.

The Hong Kong Junior Chamber said the Government should encourage higher education institutions to run more courses to teach people to set up their own enterprises.

'Tung Chee-hwa wants Hong Kong to become Asia's London or New York,' the chairwoman of the chamber's community concern group, Rosa Chan Wai-yin, said.

'But he has positioned it as a Los Angeles, with all the emphasis on tourism.

'There should be more courses provided in a systematic way to teach young people how to start their own businesses, especially with the current slump in the labour market.' The chamber is also worried about the lack of government support for small and medium-sized businesses.

The administration halted loans for new small and medium-sized businesses under a special $2.5 billion scheme after the money was used up.

The group feared that without strategies from the Government, small and medium-sized operations would be taken over and dominated by large ones.

This situation would not benefit consumers either.

The group was disappointed the Policy Address failed to offer measures to help youngsters in the 15-19 age group to find jobs.

'Young people at those ages are very vulnerable. They could go astray and harm society if they are idle,' a statement from the group said.

It also urged the Government to think twice on the plan to switch diesel-fuelled minibuses to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), even though this could help improve air quality.

It warned that LPG might not be powerful enough for minibuses to run on in view of the hilly terrain on Hong Kong Island.