Hong Kong border mall delayed

Planning requirements – not this week’s visa clampdown – will delay the proposed Hong Kong border mall.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So, said the government still supports the concept – which would see 300 trading stores opened on a site close to the Shenzhen border in prefabricated buildings.

But the development has been delayed due to the need for zoning changes and may not now be trading before Christmas.

So said the newly introduced once a week visit limit on mainland residents with multiple entry visas would not affect the plan.

“The “one trip per week” measure is really to deal with parallel trading. I think what Mr Wong (Ting-kwong) and the proponent of this project are looking at is to increase the capacity to receive tourists, and also to enhance the facilities in terms of providing shopping opportunities,” So told a reporter after the Legislative Council met.

“It is really business opportunities for both the businesses as well as for the tourists to enjoy these facilities. So, I believe the proponent is still very optimistic about this project.”

So described the current plan as “a good pilot project” and said he encouraged projects of similar nature if this one is proven to be successful.

“Perhaps this mode of operation could be extended to other places and thereby increasing our tourist capacity.”

Answering a follow-up question, So said the centre’s location near the border would ensure its success, “because it will be a lot more accessible to tourists across the border”.

“That is the business model as I understand.”


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