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China’s reopening brings relief for Shenzhen businesses amid COVID-19 surge, trade curbs

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SHENZHEN: China’s reopening after three years of COVID-19 isolation might have brought initial relief for businesses, but existing roadblocks such as a COVID-19 surge and trade restrictions could slow the pace of recovery, said observers.
 
China’s economy grew by 3 per cent last year, its second slowest pace since 1976 and far short of its gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of around 5.5 per cent for the year.
 
It came as authorities doubled down on lockdowns and quarantines, which weighed on manufacturing and business activity for most of 2022.
 
However, the country is hoping for a rebound this year, after the dismantling of its strict zero-COVID policy late last year.
 
The Greater Bay Area, which includes Hong Kong, Macau, and nine mainland cities in Guangdong province, including Shenzhen, is positioned to play a key role.
 
Even before the pandemic, authorities have sought to turn the region into an innovation and technological powerhouse.

CHINA FACES CHALLENGES IN ITS RECOVERY

However, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) believes the mainland’s current COVID-19 surge has to stabilise first.
 
“Hong Kong doesn’t have an external-facing industrial sector,…

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