Hong Kong rugby chiefs have welcomed the opportunity to put on a show in November, after the city’s finance minister said the government planned to host business leaders from around the world during this year’s Sevens. Speaking at a Redefining Hong Kong seminar organised by the Post on Wednesday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po revealed plans to bring more than 100 finance leaders to the city as a way to revive its damaged reputation as an international business hub. The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens has been delayed five times since the coronavirus pandemic first struck in 2020, but Chan confirmed it would take place between November 4 and 6. “The prospect of helping Hong Kong host a senior delegation of international business leaders during the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is exciting,” Robbie McRobbie, the Hong Kong Rugby Union CEO, said. “Our slogan has always been that we are the event ‘where the world comes to play’. The HKRU would be thrilled to be the event that helps the world come ‘back’ to Hong Kong to work and play this November.” While the city remains under some of the toughest Covid-19 restrictions in the world, with travellers having to quarantine for weeks on arrival, Chan said the hope was that travel with mainland China could resume in the second half of this year. And officials are planning a high-level summit to coincide with the rugby weekend, which has long been one of the highlights of the year. Chan said reconnecting with the international community after years of travel bans and tight entry restrictions was “important”. “The idea is to bring over 100 finance leaders to Hong Kong,” he added. “We want to bring them over for them to see the situation for themselves, to bring about business and investment opportunities.” After two years of losses and staffing cutbacks, which has seen the union shed nearly 50 per cent of its workforce and end its elite player programme, among other things, McRobbie is delighted at the prospect of a return to normal. “The Sevens has helped put Hong Kong on the sporting map for over 45 years and is widely regarded as one of the world’s premier corporate hospitality events, generating jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars for the city every year,” he said. “Given the rapid pace of vaccination in Hong Kong, we are confident that by working diligently with World Rugby and relevant government authorities – and following the protocols in place at numerous professional sports events worldwide, we can host a fantastic event eight months from now. “Hosting senior executives from the IOC at the Sevens was an instrumental part of getting rugby into the Olympics. We are confident that the Hong Kong Sevens can be a similar catalyst for the business community. After all, Sevens weekend is an advertisement for Hong Kong like none other in the world.” Traditionally held in April, the Hong Kong Sevens was most recently postponed last November because of the city’s approach to tackling Covid-19. McRobbie said the decision was taken in the best interest of teams and fans.