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  #1  
Old 08-29-2006, 08:00 AM
DW Simpson DW Simpson is offline
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Default On Hong Kong air pollution

ft.com/cms/s/f54b006a-36aa-11db-89d6-0000779e2340,_i_rssPage=ff3cbaf6-3024-11da-ba9f-00000e2511c8.html

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HK admits pollution is hurting business
By Tom Mitchell in Hong Kong

Published: August 28 2006 17:13 | Last updated: August 29 2006 03:55

Hong Kong’s chronic air pollution is hurting business in the territory, a senior government adviser said on Monday in the first official admission that worsening air quality is affecting companies’ investment decisions.

“Up to a year ago [pollution] really hadn’t hit our pocketbook,” said Victor Fung, chairman of the government-backed Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council. “But now people are not coming to Hong Kong to take that job because their kid has asthma,” he said at a briefing.

Mr Fung’s comments follow an American Chamber of Commerce survey published this weekend that found 60 per cent of 140 senior executives polled were “very worried” about the effect pollution was having on their health.

Almost 40 per cent said Hong Kong’s worsening air quality made it difficult to recruit overseas staff, while 80 per cent said they either knew someone who had left the territory, or was thinking of doing so, because of the air pollution.

Mr Fung chairs both Hong Kong’s airport authority and Li & Fung, the trade sourcing company and is one of the most vocal figures on issues bearing on the territory’s links to its manufacturing heartland in the Pearl River Delta, in China’s southern Guangdong province.

Most of Hong Kong’s air pollution is created by factories across the territory’s border in Guangdong.

“The desire to do something about [pollution] is very real,” said Mr Fung, who cited a “clear air charter” initiative and other voluntary codes of conduct that the council was promoting.

Mr Fung said the 90,000 Hong Kong-owned factories operating in the Pearl River Delta, and trading companies such as Li & Fung, should embrace socially responsible manufacturing and sourcing policies.

“The emphasis has been a bit more on labour [standards], but environmental issues are going to become more important,” he said. “It’s not only the right thing to do, its also good business.”
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:18 AM
sundwarf sundwarf is offline
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One of the 42 reasons that I am still working in US!!!
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:31 AM
tommie frazier tommie frazier is offline
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I blame those kids with asthma for holding the executives back.
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