Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu speaks at a spring reception hosted by the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong on Feb 1, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
The recovery in the cross-border flow of people following the relaxation of COVID-19 measures and the resumption of quarantine-free cross-border travel to and from Hong Kong will bring more mega events to the financial hub and demonstrates its role as a major player in Asia, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Wednesday.
He made the remarks at the annual Spring Reception held by the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong, which was also attended by Liu Guangyuan commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Yin Zonghua, deputy director of Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong chairman Jonathan Choi Koon-shum.
Lee expressed his gratitude to the central government for its strong support in reopening the border with the Chinese mainland.
With the tourism, retail and catering industries among the first to benefit from the buoyant consumer sentiment, Hong Kong’s overall economic vitality has been significantly strengthened, which is conducive to the productivity and recovery of various industries.
John Lee Ka-chiu, Hong Kong chief executive
“Hong Kong is off to a good start in the Year of the Rabbit after three challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. The city’s leader added that he is confident that Hong Kong will have a bright and prosperous future in the new year.
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“The gradual, orderly and comprehensive resumption of quarantine-free cross-border travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland has enabled many families separated from each other for years to finally reunite and celebrate the Spring Festival.”
“With the tourism, retail and catering industries among the first to benefit from the buoyant consumer sentiment, Hong Kong’s overall economic vitality has been significantly strengthened, which is conducive to the productivity and recovery of various industries,” Lee said.
The HKSAR government will actively visit places outside Hong Kong and cooperate with the business community to promote Hong Kong’s business advantages and tell the Hong Kong story well, he said.
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“The resumption of quarantine free cross-border travel between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, together with the central government’s focuses on expanding domestic consumption and promoting high-level opening up will bring strong impetus to our economy,” said Choi.
He acknowledged that the volatile global economic environment, fluctuating development of the pandemic, and the downside risks to the global economy last year have posed “immense pressure” on the city, but believes after the boundary reopening, the arrival of visitors to Hong Kong will bring hope to tourism and related industries, further promote the development of the local economy, and help consolidate and enhance the function of Hong Kong as a super connector between the Chinese mainland and the global world to drive regional development.
The CGCC will continue to serve as a bridge to tell well the stories of the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong to the rest of the world, Choi said.
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HONG KONG NEWS