Full resumption of cross-border travel to boost economic recovery

The full resumption of cross-border travel between the mainland and Hong Kong will rev up business, tourism and other economic activities and bring more optimistic expectations for the city's economy, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said on Sunday.

Chan wrote on his blog that the economy this year will do better as compared to the last, but there remain some external challenges and uncertainties as it requires time for the recovery of flights, the influx of tourists as well as the increase in investment.

He added that it is necessary to closely monitor the speed and extent of post-epidemic economic recovery, especially during the initial stage when market confidence is still relatively weak.

Businesses in Hong Kong are cautiously optimistic that the worst may be behind them, with 40 percent of the respondents expecting an increase in trade turnover in 2023 compared with last year, according to a survey released by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce in early January.

Cross-border travel between mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau would fully resume starting from Monday, with existing quotas and a mandatory COVID-19 test to be phased out.