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Business group says inoculation only way for HK to recover from economic slump

20 June 2021

By The SUN

HK must reopen its borders to recover from its $600 billion losses, the HK Chamber says

Hong Kong people were urged today, Jun 20, by the city’s largest business group to get their Covid-19 jabs so the city can reopen its borders and help the local economy rebound from $600 billion in losses it suffered due to the pandemic.

George Leung, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said in a radio program that the SAR is a small city with an externally oriented economy such that resuming cross-border travel is “the most important factor” for economic revival.

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But Leung said this is only possible if enough people are vaccinated against Covid-19.

He made his remarks as health officials confirmed only one imported coronavirus case today, the 15th straight day that there were no local infections.

The sole imported case was a 36-year-old male flight crew who arrived from Russia on Saturday. Staff from the Centre for Health Protection said he did not have symptoms and was found to be carrying the L45R mutated strain of the coronavirus associated with a variant that has recently caused massive outbreaks in California.


He took the city’s total Covid-19 tally to 11,886 with 210 related deaths.

Vaccination is the only way forward, says the business group

The HKGCC executive spoke on a local radio station after his group unveiled last week a lottery that offered more than HK$30 million in prizes for residents who have had two vaccine doses.

He said it is a win-win move for the business sector to launch lotteries to encourage people to get inoculated, as the jabs can help citizens resume some social activities that will help boost the economy.


“According to the International Monetary Fund’s estimate, Hong Kong has already lost around $600 billion due to the pandemic, this is a pretty big number,” said Leung.

He said Hong Kong needs to resume travel with other countries to help the economy recover. “We cannot rely on fiscal reserves to support the economy, this is the only feasible way now,” he said. 

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung was reported by local newspapers as saying authorities will review whether there is room to relax social distancing measures when the current restrictions expire this Wednesday.

Cheung said three factors will be considered – development of the outbreak, vaccination rates and implementation of “vaccine bubble” at restaurants and premises. 

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