Daily Management Review

Hong Kong authorities are warned about the risk of losing international centre status


The Asian Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA, an association of 150 banks and management companies) has asked Hong Kong Finance Minister Paul Chan for a clear plan to lift restrictions on COVID-19, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a letter from the association.

Hong Kong authorities do not intend to lift international travel restrictions as long as there are no cases of coronavirus infection in the city. ASIFMA members say the policy threatens to undermine Hong Kong's status as a financial centre.

The letter to Mr. Chan was signed by ASIFMA chief executive Mark Austen. He said association members "fear that if Hong Kong does not develop and present a clear and worked-out strategy to abandon its current 'zero cases' policy, as many other jurisdictions have done, Hong Kong risks losing its key international status". The South China Morning Post notes that the city has a system of approvals for easing measures under COVID-19, but by 22 October only 86 out of 385 applications had been approved.

Earlier, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said she considered links with mainland China, also operating on a zero-case basis, more important than the city's links with foreign countries. "Of course international travel is important, international business is important, but in comparison, the mainland is more important," she said in early October (quoted by Bloomberg).

source: scmp.com