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Transcript of remarks by CE at media session before ExCo (with video)
     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive (CE), Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session before the Executive Council (ExCo) meeting today (June 14):
Reporter: Thank you, Mrs Lam. In this past week, you've made lots of comments in media interviews about Hong Kong needing to reopen borders if it wants to be a financial hub. Do you believe that and why haven't you opened them faster and wider?
Chief Executive: First of all, Hong Kong is an international city. Connectivity with the outside world is very important, whether it is for Hong Kong's role as an international financial centre or an international innovation and technology hub. We need to bring in outside people, whether they are talents, investors, artists or art galleries and so on. But at the same time, Hong Kong is fully and closely integrated with the Mainland of China. So, the dual objective of trying to secure quarantine-free travel into the Mainland as well as opening up for outside people to come in are equally important. We will have to find the right balance in order to meet that objective.
     I understand that there's still a lot of pressure, especially from the financial service sector, that will urge the Hong Kong SAR Government to take more decisive acts to relax the quarantine rules. But unfortunately, it is not a question of whether I and my team have the political will to make that decision. Making a decision is not too difficult, but we have to appreciate and assess the effectiveness or the consequences of that decision. Naturally, as we are approaching the end of our term - there's only two more weeks to go - if we were to relax the quarantine rules tomorrow, but then in two weeks' time the new government decided that perhaps this needs to be reverted to a more tightened approach, that would create a lot of confusion and uncertainty for a lot of people.
     Having considered the situation and, of course, the need to maintain a more stable infection situation in Hong Kong, we have decided that we will maintain the status quo up to June 30, 2022. But at the same time, we will provide all the information and advice of the experts that we have received to the CE-elect's Office for the CE-elect to assess and provide a timely response when he assumes office.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:57
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