Hong Kong should continue to improve productivity and efficiency in an effort to position itself as the 'world city' for Asia, according to a business pressure group. The Business and Professional Federation of Hong Kong said over the years Hong Kong had derived too much of its economic growth from appreciation in asset prices rather than improvement in productivity and expansion of the economic base. Federation president Vincent Lo Hong-shui said Hong Kong's salary levels were the highest of seven Asian countries examined by the group. In terms of the cost of doing business, Hong Kong was the world's second-most expensive location after Tokyo. Mr Lo said the federation, which represents key employers in Hong Kong, would not propose salary reductions because this would have a negative impact on the stability of the banking system. Instead, it proposed a package of measures to improve productivity and make better use of mainland resources in an effort to maintain Hong Kong's high-income levels. Mr Lo said the measures should be aimed at positioning Hong Kong as the metropolis for Asia, similar to New York for the United States and London for Europe. Hong Kong should preserve and strengthen its characteristics as an international city by improving the workforce's English-language ability and upgrading the environment and quality of life, he said.