A STUDY by a government management consultant warns that negative images have emerged of Hong Kong, including its high wages and property costs, which might need to be addressed, possibly by government action. The study also has suggests that the role of the Trade Development Council (TDC) be broadened to include promotion of Hong Kong as a regional services hub. The study, 'Promotion of Hong Kong Services', was prepared for the Government by KPMG Management Consulting. It says services such as banking, trade financing and freight services, telecommunications, media and financial services are tradeable internationally. But it warns that negative perceptions about Hong Kong have emerged which may need to be addressed in promotional programmes, or which may require separate, possibly government, action. 'The potential threat to Hong Kong related to the 1997 change in sovereignty is one obvious issue which can be further balanced by messages related to opportunities for Hong Kong related to 1997,' the study says. Other negative perceptions included Hong Kong's high wages and property prices. The study advises the Government either to set up a new agency like the TDC, or to add trade in services to the council's remit. KPMG says the proposed promotional programme would have a high net present value, even if its benefits were only an increase in service exports of 0.1 per cent of their current level. At that level, the promotion would bring the territory an extra $562 million net a year, while the first three years of running a proposed services promotion council would be $150 million, $138 million the second year and $127 million the third. The Government is to consult the business community and, in particular, the services industry, on the recommendations after the Easter holidays. The consultation is expected to last until the end of May. 'We would consider carefully the consultancy report and take into account the views expressed during the consultations before deciding on the best way forward,' said a spokesman from the Trade and Industry Branch, which has been overseeing the consultancy study.