Hong Kong, Italian and Indian Chambers of Commerce against Occupy Central democratic movement
British, American and Australian Chambers did not sign statement against Occupy Central, which warns of damage to city's reputation and impact on livelihoods. Card. Zen's battle: he will march for universal suffrage.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agency) - A leading local business chamber has joined forces with four international business chambers in the city to condemn the Occupy Central movement in a statement published in several newspapers on Wednesday.

But a number of influential international chambers are not signatories to the joint statement, which said the democracy movement could potentially cripple commerce in the central business district, impacting small local businesses and large multinational operations.

Occupy have promised to stage a non-violent sit-in on Central streets if the government's plan for holding the 2017 chief executive election does not provide a genuine choice of candidates for Hongkongers.

The joint statement was issued by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau, the Hong Kong Bahrain Business Association and the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

But key international chambers such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong did not sign up to the statement. There are some 20 international business chambers in Hong Kong.

Chan Kin-man, an organiser of the Occupy movement, said international business chambers should recognise that despite the short-term inconveniences that could be brought by the planned protest, it would help improve governance in Hong Kong and create a level playing field for the international business community.

On the same stance even the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, Card. Joseph Zen: he has decided to march for 84 hours around the territory in an attempt to harness citizens' participation in an unofficial referendum that calls for full democracy in Hong Kong and universal suffrage for the election of governor in 2017.