IF you are in charge of a multinational corporation which is considering setting up a regional office in Hong Kong, chances are you will want to know a lot more about what is going to happen after the handover. If you do not trust the crystal-ball gazers, then chances are you will want to check out the latest survey. That is where you may become a little unstuck. There are several of them, all updated on a regular basis. Also, there are different focuses and to get the most rounded view for the most balanced decision, you will have to keep abreast of them all. The main focus, and the most important survey for such needs, is usually that of business confidence. Then there are those dealing with the ease and difficulty of doing business, competitiveness and the issue of whether Hong Kong can maintain its economic expansion. The results of a particularly important survey were released last week. While the report, Made by Hong Kong, highlighted certain critical weaknesses, these came with recommendations which if followed could turn the territory into a world-class industrial power. The report was sponsored by local government, trade and industrial organisations and carried out by the influential Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The report, to be released in full soon, urged government and businesses to forge greater links to provide conditions for a new generation of high value-added goods. It also called for special financing for hi-tech companies by the issue of technology shares as well as boosting protection of intellectual property. There are no direct political implications attached to this particular survey. It is purely a blueprint for future survival. Corporate heads will only learn from this report that Hong Kong has at least the will to try and root out the problem. Whether or not these recommendations are followed up is still to be seen. A new book, The Hong Kong Advantage, by Michael Enright, visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong School of Business, argues Hong Kong's location, work ethic, information channels and competitiveness provide its economic strength. Last month, the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (Perc) released a report suggesting Hong Kong was once again at the top of the list of the easiest places to do business. This was a survey of United States businessmen asked to comment on 11 cities in Asia. It was interpreted by Perc as a vote of confidence in the territory during its transitionary period and was of more direct use to potential investors here. The result eased fears that multinational corporations might relocate to rival financial centres in the region such as Singapore. However, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said last month that Hong Kong had become riskier than Taiwan or Singapore as a place in which to invest. The EIU put this down to the 'fuzzy and vague' political situation - China's intention of watering down the Bill of Rights and its abolishment of the largely democratic Legislative Council. Given the diversity of these views, what are overseas businessmen expected to do? Maybe it is in their best interests to take these surveys with as much of a pinch of salt as they would the views of a soothsayer.