Chinese president Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong on 30 June for a two-day visit to mark the 25th anniversary of the city's return to Chinese rule at a pivotal time in the city’s history. In the past few years, the special administrative region has had to weather numerous riots; the introduction of a highly controversial national security law that has left many international businesses worried; and growing concerns that press freedom and the rule of law in Hong Kong is being steadily eroded. Adding more fuel to the flames, the closure of its borders to foreign travelers unless arrivals undergo lengthy quarantine in line with a zero Covid-19 policy has badly impacted the city’s ability to meet its aspirations as a global financial and business hub.
Many in the international business and financial community are weighing up the merits of remaining in the city or relocating to more predictable locations such as Singapore. Opportunities for financiers remain in Hong Kong, however, with the steady easing of access to Chinese financial markets and mainland investors through initiatives such as the stock connect scheme; and now the trading of exchange-traded funds between Hong Kong and the mainland that will commence on 4 July. There is also the China-backed Greater Bay Area project that will integrate the economic activity of the major cities of the Pearl River delta area including Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, that will provide major commercial opportunities.