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SCA: Government striving to promote flow of people, cargo and capital in PPRD

The Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, said today (February 20) that the Government attached great importance to Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) regional co-operation, and was implementing measures in many aspects to facilitate the flow of people, cargo and capital in the region.

Speaking to a delegation of the PPRD General Co-ordination Offices visiting Hong Kong, Mr Lam said the tasks ahead of Hong Kong were to further encourage enterprises in the region to use it as a platform for raising external capital and "reaching out"(setting up overseas). Hong Kong should capitalise its advantages in financial services and the opportunities brought about by the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). The Government will also strengthen Hong Kong's role as a provider of professional services, in order to promote the economic development of the region. At the same time, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is keen to have the Individual Visit Scheme extended to all provincial capitals of the PPRD region.

"During the period covered by the 11th Five-Year Plan, the PPRD will jointly implement various co-operation projects and specific plans. I envisage that the PPRD regional co-operation will yield more and more tangible results. The HKSAR will continue to enhance exchanges and co-operation with PPRD partners. Through closer communications and capitalising on complementary advantages, we will jointly create a win-win situation beneficial to all '9+2' partners," Mr Lam said.

The visit of representatives from the PPRD General Coordination Offices has been organised with assistance from the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO). The three-day visit was arranged to enhance communication and exchanges among PPRD provinces and regions, as well as their understanding of Hong Kong's development. The delegation is led by the Assistant Counsellor of the Guangdong Development and Reform Commission, Mr Wu Huanqiang, and comprises representatives of the PPRD General Coordination Offices and State Council's HKMAO.

The delegation will be briefed by a number of Government bureaus/departments, and will visit key financial institutions including the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The delegation will also visit infrastructural facilities such as Super Terminal 1 and Kwai Chung Container Terminal.

The delegation had a discussion session today with representatives of the Government, the business sector and Chairman of the Central Policy Unit's PPRD Panel, Prof Yeung Yue-man. The delegation had exchanges with the private sector, academia and the Government on the opportunities for Hong Kong and Hong Kong enterprises arising from PPRD regional co-operation, as well as the strengths and the strategy of the HKSAR in promoting PPRD co-operation. Attendees also exchanged views on the future directions of PPRD regional co-operation. Participants of the session included Prof Yeung Yue-man; Director of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Dr Eden Woon, and members of the chamber.

The delegation arrived in Hong Kong yesterday, and the visit will conclude on Thursday (February 23). The delegation, together with Hong Kong representatives, will depart for Macao on the same day, for a two-day visit.

Ends/Monday, February 20, 2006