Former Executive Council convenor Bernard Chan called on the government to further relax the quarantine measure to "0+0" and scrap arrival Covid testing, as he admitted Singapore has replaced Hong Kong as the international financial hub of the Asia-Pacific region.
Speaking in a TV interview on Saturday, Chan welcomed the "0+3" measure, which has been running since Monday (Sep 26), and believed the measure can give citizens and the business sector a positive impression of the city moving towards full reopening.
He added that if Hong Kong's healthcare system is not overwhelmed after the measure has been running for a while, authorities can proceed to the "0+0" measure.
Chan also called on the government to scrap the testing requirement upon arrival in Hong Kong, saying that many other countries have axed this requirement already.
If the city keeps the arrival Covid
testing, tourists and business people have to face quarantine arrangements over positive results, and they may choose not to risk traveling here.
Chan pointed out that the "0+3" measure allows Hongkongers to travel abroad more easily but can't stimulate the local economy. Still, he remained faithful that the "0+0" measure would definitely happen.
Chan also spoke of the latest edition of the Global Financial Centre Index published by British think tank Z/Yen Group Thursday last week (Sep 22), on which Hong Kong dropped to fourth place with Singapore sitting one place above.
He continued that over the past year, some corporates that locate their Aisa-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong have left and may not return in the short term.
Yet, the city remains the first choice for those focusing their businesses in the Greater China region. He also believed these companies would return even if they had left because Hong Kong's financial systems and markets are way bigger than Singapore's.
Singapore is indeed the winner in this Covid
-19 pandemic after having reopened to international societies for more than a year, Chan described.