Hong Kong has to lift its vaccination rates in order to benefit from the mainland market, business leaders were told.
Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese Importers’ and Exporters’ Association, spoke on the sideline of a summit on “embracing the 14th five-year plan and dual circulation strategy”. The summit was also attended by Huang Liuquan, the deputy head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
Wong said central government officials told attendees that the city should increase the vaccination rate as soon as possible.
He said border policies around the world are based on vaccination status. The SAR government should launch more preferential treatment for those vaccinated in order to encourage more citizens to do so.
The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong president Allen Shi Lop-tak said Hong Kong’s vaccination rate is not too bad.
He did not see any need to make companies force their employees to get jabs.
Around 40 per cent of the city’s population have been fully vaccinated.
Under the mainland’s dual circulation model of maintaining domestic market and overseas market at the same time, Hong Kong can work more on entering the domestic market, Shi said.
However, he cautioned local companies to adapt to mainland culture and launch products that fit mainland needs.
Huang of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said he was aware of worries about Hong Kong’s business environment and how the city should get itself involved in national development.
Although there is a revival of protectionism, China’s determination to open and reform hasn’t wavered, he said. Hong Kong has a unique status and its function cannot be replaced, he said.