Prominent businessman Allan Zeman on Wednesday warned that business and trade in Hong Kong would take a huge hit if the government invokes emergency laws to deal with ongoing protests.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a forum on Greater Bay Area, the chairman of the Lan Kwai Fong Group said he believes Chief Executive Carrie Lam was just reminding Hong Kong people that emergency laws are an option.

“It was just Carrie Lam’s chance to remind people because the violence was getting … last Sunday was terrible in Hong Kong, really really bad,” he said.

He said there was nothing wrong with mentioning that emergency laws are a possibility if needed.

Zeman said Hong Kong situation hasn’t reached a stage, but said violent clashes are sending bad message to the world.

But the city can recover as long as the One Country, Two Systems arrangement remains in place, he said, recalling Hong Kong recovered quickly after the 2003 Sars crisis with mainland’s help.

Zeman said both the government and Beijing have said they are willing to talk. He said even if all of the five demands of the protesters may not be met, the key is sit down and have a dialogue.

He also said some of the demands “make no sense”. IPCC has already started a probe into complaints and an independent commission will take years to arrive at a finding, Zeman said.