19 July 2022
The Honourable John K C Lee, SBS, PDSM, PMSM
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
of the People’s Republic of China
Central Government Offices
Tamar, Hong Kong
Travel and Quarantine Restrictions
I am writing on behalf of members of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce to convey our concerns over the impact of Covid-related policies on Hong Kong as a place to do business and live.
The negative sentiment on Hong Kong’s operating environment is reflected in the survey findings we conducted in May, a summary of which is included in the attached. It is perhaps no surprise that an overwhelming majority of respondents have been affected by restrictive travel measures. That has in turn caused many to seriously consider relocating their businesses out of Hong Kong if they have not already done so.
As responsible corporate citizens, we understand the importance of and need to protect public health and the public health system through the various travel and isolation policies to fight the pandemic. The Chamber has also been proactive in encouraging the general public to be vaccinated by conducting a lottery and, in that respect, is gratified to note that, as of writing, 89% of the population has received a second dose and the number of serious cases has remained in the single digits.
Given the foregoing and the low number of imported cases, we believe it would be timely for your administration to review existing policies aimed at curbing the spread of Covid. We welcome very much the recent decision to suspend the circuit-breaker for flight suspension and a shortening of the quarantine period for inbound travellers. Despite such positive developments, the reality is that entering Hong Kong remains a challenge. Unless there is a further easing of mandatory measures, Hong Kong runs the risk of losing its appeal as an international business centre.
As a small and open economy, we cannot afford to lose our global connectivity and connections. Although it is important to reopen the border with the Mainland, this will necessarily take time. In the meantime, priority should be given to restoring linkages with the rest of the world. We look forward to working together with your team to relaunch Hong Kong.
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