Beijing to help HK tackle parallel traders

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 September, 2012, 5:57pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 September, 2012, 7:30pm

Beijing on Monday offered to help Hong Kong crack down on parallel-goods traders in the city, the chief secretary said during a visit to Beijing.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was speaking after meeting Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, on Monday.

She said Wang had promised that his office would co-ordinate with other mainland departments – such as public security and customs bureaus – to take measures to help Hong Kong rein in the traders.

“Wang’s response was positive and proactive. He said his office would start this work once Hong Kong comes up with suggestions [for action],” Lam said.

The chief secretary started her visit on Sunday. Later on Monday she was due to visit officials in the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Beijing municipal government.

The mainland traders stock up on everything from iPads to milk powder, taking advantage of lower prices and wider choice in Hong Kong, then resell them at a profit on the mainland.

Hong Kong’s immigration and police arrested more than 130 mainlanders in connection with the practice in three raids last week. Their action came after Hongkongers living near Sheung Shui station protested against the local congestion and inflated prices caused by the traders.