Executive councillor Cheng Yiu-tong has praised the 24-hour checkpoint at Lok Ma Chau but called on the government to combat its potentially negative impact, including growing competition to retailers in the northern New Territories. Speaking at the City Forum in Victoria Park yesterday, Mr Cheng said measures were needed to take advantage of the increased passenger flows between Hong Kong and the mainland. 'Shenzhen used to implement reforms to attract more Hong Kong people to go there. Now Hong Kong has to adapt to the changes.' Mr Cheng said a new, potentially lucrative market is emerging in the northern New Territories. 'We know for example that mainland Chinese visitors like buying designer label goods.' The property market in the area has also picked up recently because of the round-the-clock checkpoint. Mr Cheng said more and more foreigners working on the mainland are now looking for housing in the New Territories. 'How do we attract more of them to come back to Hong Kong? This is something that we have to look into.' Mr Cheng, also a local deputy to the National People's Congress, emphasised the need to increase cross-border integration. 'Hong Kong cannot be a desert island. We must get rid of all the obstacles which impede economic development in order to facilitate cross-border integration.' However, he cautioned against the round-the-clock opening of Lowu until passenger demand was assessed fully.