Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble could begin in November, Hong Kong finance secretary says

A passenger sporting a facemask exiting the arrival corridor on the Hong Kong International Airport terminal.

Miguel Candela | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — The travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore could take impact inside this month —and discussions are ongoing with different nations together with Thailand and Japan, in accordance with Hong Kong’s monetary secretary Paul Chan.

“We’re working hard with the Singaporean government,” stated Chan. “The target is to launch this as soon as possible within November, and the earlier, the better.”

The two cities in mid-October announced plans to permit leisure travel to renew with out the necessity for quarantines. Instead, vacationers would take a coronavirus check earlier than departure. Hong Kong can also require a second check after arrival.

Tourism and aviation have been hit onerous by the pandemic this 12 months. Singapore and Hong Kong additionally do not need home air travel markets to cushion the blow.

At the identical time, we’re working very onerous with the mainland authorities to attempt to revive the touring between Hong Kong and mainland as a result of, enterprise smart, this is essential to hurry up the restoration of our econom.

Paul Chan

Hong Kong Financial Secretary

Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to vacationers from nations the place the coronavirus scenario is below management similar to New Zealand and Brunei.

Chan stated Hong Kong is in talks with 10 different nations about permitting related travel bubbles.

“For example, Thailand, Japan — these are the countries that we have more advanced discussions with,” he stated, including that the authorities are working “very hard” to broaden the community of air travel bubbles with completely different jurisdictions.

“At the same time, we’re working very hard with the mainland authorities to try to revive the traveling between Hong Kong and mainland because, business wise, this is very important to speed up the recovery of our economy,” Chan stated.

The metropolis fell into recession final 12 months after months of anti-government protests, and the Covid-19 outbreak dealt the financial system one other blow.

Still, when requested if Hong Kong would possibly lose a few of its shine to Shenzhen, the secretary stated the monetary hub has a “very unique competitive edge.”

Shenzhen celebrated 40 years as a particular financial zone final month, and was given flexibility to pursue reforms in some areas, in accordance with Reuters.

Chan stated there is a “complementary cooperation” between Hong Kong and different Chinese cities.

“There are areas that we are highly competitive and leading the way, but there are also other areas we can work with the neighboring cities to achieve the maximum synergistic effect, for example, innovation and technology,” he stated.

“The way we see it is, in this process, we need to work together to leverage the best outcome for everyone concerned,” he continued. “But on the other hand, in … sectors that we are doing well, we need to keep enhancing ourselves, making ourselves even more competitive and ahead of our competition.”

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