Open borders key to economic recovery: former Treasury chief

Former Secretary of the Bureau of Financial Services and Treasury Chan Ka-keung said on a TV show that open borders are essential for Hong Kong’s economy to recover.

“With the easing of anti-epidemic measures, Hong Kong’s economy has a chance to recover,” Chan said on Sunday.

“Opening borders with the mainland will benefit the tourism sector as well as local citizens,” he added. “It’s vital for Hong Kong as a financial center.”

He pointed out that Hong Kong cannot rely on European and American markets alone and should attract investors from all over the world to enter the local market.

Chan’s comments came amid a 0.4% rise in the city’s unemployment rate. At 5.4%, Hong Kong’s unemployment rate is at its highest since figures from April to June last year.

Chan was confident that Chief Executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu, who has also made reopening borders a top political priority, will be able to achieve economic development as well as technological innovations.

Earlier this month, Lee said virus control measures must be balanced with economic development.

Although Hong Kong has relaxed its social distancing rules, it still maintains strict travel rules.

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