The president of the American Chamber of Commerce has called on the SAR government to hold closed-door talks with representatives of the international business sector, to explain what could constitute a violation of the national security law.
Speaking at a forum on Tuesday, Tara Joseph said while the sector understands stability is important, “many people would call [the security law] ambiguous” and “talks about foreign interference” make people feel uncomfortable.
“I suppose many people would say the law is ambiguous. And because it’s new and it feels ambiguous, it’s hard to understand specific examples of what could happen that could put someone from the international business community or a company in trouble,” she said.
“So perhaps a closed door discussion that’s very honest about how companies could face trouble, what could get individuals in trouble from the business community would be a very helpful discussion. So that we can understand the rules of the road, because it’s a new road,” Joseph added.
But Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau argued that there's nothing vague about the security law, saying everything has been clearly spelt out.
“If you read the daily news headlines you might have an impression that Hong Kong must be falling apart. But actually what brings businesses to Hong Kong or stay in Hong Kong is the baseline, it’s the baseline of the rule of law, including, in this circumstance the constitutional obligation we need to fulfil to protect the nation," he said.
"Also clearly spelt out are circumstances where there would be things that can not be done legally within that remit."
Yau also dismissed concerns of an exodus of firms or money from the SAR, saying there was a net gain of tens of billions of US dollars in the capital market over past months.