News roundup: Hong Kong struggles with shuttered stores, plus more stories


For PropertyGuru’s real estate news roundup, the former “shopping paradise” Hong Kong struggles with shuttered stores. In other updates, all travellers must declare if they have SGD20,000 when arriving or departing Singapore. And finally, Laos launched a national strategy on climate change towards 2030.

Across Hong Kong, the streets bear the scars of a stubbornly weak retail sector – shuttered stores

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong was known as a “shopping paradise.” But since lifting all anti-epidemic measures early last year, the city has struggled to live up to its reputation.

Last month, 70 percent of small and medium enterprises surveyed by the Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises Association and Junior Chamber International Hong Kong said their income had dropped below pre-pandemic levels.

“Factors such as the rising trend of northbound travel among Hongkongers, international trade disputes, the emigration wave, and labour shortages, have brought a considerable impact to the business environment and marketing activities of SMEs,” the two organisations behind the survey said in HKFP.

Why must travellers declare SGD20,000 cash when entering or leaving Singapore?

Ten people were recently nabbed at Changi Airport for failing to declare that they were bringing in over SGD20,000 (USD14,720) in cash into Singapore.

Since May, all travellers have had to make such declarations online and within 72 hours of arriving at or departing Singapore’s checkpoints.

Why the need to declare large amounts of cash? One expert pointed to the “anonymity” offered by cash and its “obvious appeal” for those engaged in illegal activities.

“The larger the sum of cash involved, objectively the more suspicious it is,” said Associate Professor Sandra Booysen, director of the Centre for Banking and Finance Law at the National University of Singapore’s law faculty. “We have more efficient and safer ways nowadays of keeping money and making payments.”

Associate Professor Razwana Begum Abdul Rahim, head of the public safety and security programme at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, told CNA that declarations help authorities track suspicious money flows and ensure that the funds are not being used for unlawful purposes. These include money laundering, terrorism financing, fraud and tax evasion.

Laos announces climate change response strategy

On 26th June, Laos launched a national strategy on climate change towards 2030, and on 27th June, a booklet about the issue that aims to build its climate change resilience.

At the launching ceremony, Lao Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Phouvong Luangxaysana said the Lao government places a strong emphasis on efforts to resolve the climate change issue. The ministry is currently formulating a low greenhouse gas emissions strategy and a decree on carbon credit, he said in VietnamPlus.

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].