Updated at 6.32pm: The business sector is optimistic about the economy for the next two years, according to a study released by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. The annual research - named Business Prospects Survey - interviewed 281 companies in October and November. It covered issues such as Hong Kong's competitiveness, economic and business conditions, the government's role and mainland economic relations. The survey revealed that more than 30 per cent of companies expected the overall business conditions in 2005 were 'good' or 'very good' - up from 19.2 per cent a year earlier. Over 41 per cent of respondents said the business conditions in 2006 would be 'good' or 'very good'. '2004 has been a good year to most businesses in Hong Kong. Many people can actually feel the benefits in one way or the other,' the chamber's chief executive officer Eden Woon said. 'The majority of the local business community is becoming more optimistic, and this is a very encouraging sign,' Dr Woon said. Nearly 20 per cent of interviewees said there would be a general wage rise in their companies, while 61.2 per cent said wage adjustment would be based on performance. The figures were higher than last year's. Around 67 per cent of respondents believed Hong Kong's gross domestic product would rise between three and seven per cent in real terms in 2005. The survey showed that the business sector was more satisfied with the government this year than in 2003. More than one-third of respondents said they were content with the government's performance. This was up 15 per cent compared with last year; while 60 per cent said they were dissatisfied. Dr Woon said businessmen expressed strong support for the government cutting spending by trimming the size of the civil service and broadening the tax base. 'Civil servants' pay is significantly higher than that for similar jobs in the private sector,' he pointed out. 'A balanced budget will be essential for Hong Kong's overall competitiveness,' he said. Dr Woon also noted that 37 per cent of respondents supported the introduction of new tax such as Goods and Services Tax.