Hong Kong business people feel threatened by China's entry to the World Trade Organisation and believe the Government should provide more information about its impact, a survey of executives found. 'Hong Kong companies are viewing WTO as a threat rather than a major opportunity,' said Stephen Lee, Hong Kong branch president of CPA Australia, which commissioned the survey. Of 442 respondents, 71 per cent cited competitors from China as the biggest threat to profits. Further evidence that the WTO is perceived as a threat came from the finding that only 28 per cent of respondents said they would move to the mainland on their current salaries. 'If only one in four people are prepared to work in China on their current salaries, it shows a lack of awareness or understanding of the opportunities China has to offer,' Mr Lee said. The Government should do more to educate the public about the impact of China's entry to the WTO, 90 per cent of the respondents said. Companies were more likely to base their operations in the mainland than Hong Kong after China's accession, 70 per cent of respondents said. 'This implies that respondents view this as a threat and there will be fewer jobs for them in Hong Kong,' Mr Lee said. Concern about competition saw only 28 per cent of respondents in support of allowing more skilled mainlanders to work in Hong Kong. Respondents gave a bleak assessment of the local economic outlook, with almost a third saying their companies would have to make significant redundancies next year. Last year's survey found English proficiency to be the biggest obstacle to Hong Kong firms' growth, but executives are now more satisfied with the language skills of the workforce. Hong Kong students had sufficient proficiency in English, according to 42 per cent of those surveyed compared with 24 per cent last year. The figure for Mandarin proficiency was 44 per cent compared with 24 per cent last year. '[The respondents] have seen that the Government has undertaken initiatives to address the problem with English skills,' said Richard Petty, a director at Mindtheme, which conducted the survey for CPA Australia. Languages may have received less attention from executives this year due to concerns about the WTO. 'In relative terms, China's accession to the WTO and some of the other issues are seen as being more significant . . . and perhaps that has diminished the attention respondents are giving to issues relating to English language and Mandarin,' Mr Petty said.