New People’s Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee on Tuesday suggested listing infant milk formula as a reserve commodity to maintain a sufficient supply to Hong Kong babies.
“Once there are restrictions, there will be no more room for cross-border parallel goods traders to take advantage of,” Ip said on a radio programme.
“It is just like the zero quota imposed on mainland women wanting to give birth in Hong Kong.”
She added that the proposed move could be quickly implemented as it would only require the approval of the chief executive and the Executive Council.
Parallel goods traders buy commodities in bulk from Hong Kong and sell them on the mainland at a higher price. Some locals blame them for pushing up commodity prices, leading to shortages, and for obstructing passageways with their heavily loaded trolleys.
On Sunday, about 20 activists who rallied online gathered outside Mong Kok East MTR station in a bid to block people carrying cans of formula or boxes of other goods.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said on Tuesday his government would work with the mainland to ensure a sufficient supply of milk formula to local mothers.
He said he would put the needs of Hong Kong mothers and babies as his first priority.
“We hope that through co-operation with the mainland we can ensure that milk formula can go to the hands of mothers and babies more easily,” he said.
Leung was speaking before attending an Executive Council meeting at the entrance of the Chief Executive’s Office in Admiralty.