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Border Mall and parallel traders in north NT, the role of the URA (10 Apr 2015)

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There’s some controversy over how many mainlanders came to visit Hong Kong during the Ching Ming Festival, which this year coincided with the Easter weekend. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has used visitor figures to claim that inward bound tourism has been hit hard by anti-parallel trader protests – Commerce and Economic Development Secretary Greg So says that comparing this year’s long weekend to last year, when grave sweeping did not coincide with Easter, the overall number of tourists was down 12.4%, and the number of mainland tourists down 14%. Meanwhile, even though local shoppers clearly resent the inundation of gold shops and pharmacies, the government is determined to make bona fide mainland tourists, and maybe even parallel traders, happier by building more shopping malls close to the border. In the last fiscal year, the Urban Renewal Authority recorded a HK$2.3 billion deficit, its first such loss in five years. The authority has been accused of promoting high end and luxury developments and damaging the, often grassroots, communities it has “renewed”. The balance the URA needs to strike between making a profit and its social mission was again highlighted with the resignation of its managing director Iris Tam last week

Program: 
The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, April 10, 2015
Station: 
RTHK
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