South China Morning Post’s China Conference: Hong Kong continues to address the issues and providing insights into the urgency of reopening borders with the Mainland as well as reducing travel restrictions for the good of the economy. Moderated by Zuraidah Ibrahim, Executive Managing Editor at South China Morning Post , presenting to share their perspectives in this panel are: The Honorable Edward Yau Tang-wah, GBS, JP, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development in the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region , Laura M Cha, GBM, GBS, JP, Chairman of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd , and Tara Joseph, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong . The Honorable Edward Yau Tang-wah starts off by highlighting how complicated the economic future of Hong Kong is, as it is “a function of global, regional, and national economy that is divided by Covid-19, social stability, and geopolitics.” Despite all of the factors that go into the continued success of Hong Kong as an international financial hub, Yau maintains that opening borders should not be done at the expense of public health at the moment. Both Laura Cha and Tara Joseph share their perspectives from the business side of things — connectivity is needed to drive Hong Kong’s economy forward, and it needs to happen soon. As Cha mentions, “Hong Kong is a major international financial centre” that facilitates a lot of cross-border capital. While there needs to be a balance between keeping Hong Kong safe and nurturing the economy, changes need to be made soon in order to maintain the city’s role as a place of global connectivity. Edward notes there are some safety measures cannot be ignored, such as accurate Covid-19 testing before flying and after arrival. Depending on the country of departure, some quarantine measures must be taken as well. While these restrictions may help contain the spread of Covid-19 in Hong Kong, they also limit the level of communication available between Hong Kong businesses, the Mainland, and other relevant countries. According to Laura, this puts Hong Kong businesses at a competitive disadvantage, as many Mainland businesses have found temporary partners who may become permanent partners if Hong Kong businesses are not able to reconnect. Tara follows up by saying that “we live in an increasingly competitive world, and Covid-19 can’t stop Hong Kong, otherwise we will lose our competitiveness.” To close out this discussion, the panelists share their worries and their hopes for the future. The common consensus is Hong Kong is an amazing and remarkable city with a lot to offer the world. It also has great baselines including rule of law, transparency, and a strong international community. Some of the worries about the future include the continued need to protect public health, and the pressing need to make policy changes that help Hong Kong businesses thrive. Our playback videos of the conference are available for ticket holders (LEARN, ELEVATE, and ELEVATE+), please visit our website for more information.