A passenger wearing a mask exits the arrival hall at the Hong Kong International Airport Terminal.
Miguel Candela | Pictures SOPA | LightRocket | beautiful images
SINGAPORE – The travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore could come into effect this month – and ongoing discussions with other countries including Thailand and Japan, according to Hong Kong finance secretary Paul Chan .
“We are working hard with the Singapore government,”; said Chan. “The goal is to launch this as early as possible in November and as early as possible.”
The two cities in mid-October announced plans to allow recreational travel to be continued without quarantine. Instead, tourists will have a test for coronavirus before departure. Hong Kong may also request a second check upon arrival.
Travel and aviation have been hit hard by this year’s pandemic. Singapore and Hong Kong also don’t have the domestic air travel market to give the boost.
Singapore unilaterally opened borders to tourists from countries controlling the coronavirus infection such as New Zealand and Brunei.
Chan said Hong Kong is in talks with 10 other countries about allowing similar travel bubbles.
“For example, Thailand, Japan – these are the countries where we have more advanced discussions,” he said, adding that the authorities are working “very hard” to expand. Travel bubble network with different jurisdictions.
“At the same time, we are working very hard with the mainland authorities to try to restore travel between Hong Kong and the mainland because, business wise, this is important to speed up. recovery of our economy, “said Chan.
The city fell into recession last year after months of anti-government protests, and the Covid-19 boom dealt a blow to the economy.
However, when asked if Hong Kong could lose some of its light to Shenzhen, the secretary said the financial center has “very unique competitive advantage.”
Shenzhen celebrated its 40th anniversary as a special economic zone last month and was given the flexibility to pursue reform in several areas, according to Reuters.
Chan said there is a “complementary cooperation” between Hong Kong and other Chinese cities.
“There are areas where we are highly competitive and lead, but there are other areas where we can work with neighboring cities to get maximum synergy, for example. like innovation and technology ”.
“The way we see it, in the process, we need to work together to produce the best results for all of the people involved,” he continued. “But on the other hand, in… areas where we are doing well, we need to continue to improve ourselves, make ourselves even more competitive and ahead of our competition.”