The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, today (June 30) had a high-level co-operation meeting in Macao with the Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), Mr Tam Pak Yuen, to discuss the latest progress and future direction of co-operation between Hong Kong and Macao.
Mr Tsang also met the Chief Executive of the Macao SAR, Mr Ho Hau Wah, and the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Florinda da Rosa Silva Chan.
Mr Tsang said, "It is the consensus of the Hong Kong and Macao Governments to enhance co-operation between the two SARs. Further to my visit to Macao last November, I co-chaired a high-level co-operation meeting with Mr Tam today to exchange views on the latest progress and future priority of co-operation items between Hong and Macao. I am delighted to join with the Macao SAR to promote further co-operation between the two places."
Hong Kong and Macao have been co-operating in various areas at different levels. In view of the similar background of development of the two places and their relative strengths in different areas, the Hong Kong and Macao SAR Governments agree that there are solid grounds for the two regions to further enhance co-operation and to achieve synergy in various fields through complementing each other and to cope with competition from the neighbouring areas.
To strengthen co-operation between Hong Kong and Macao, the Chief Executives of the two SARs agreed in November 2007 to establish a formal communication mechanism, to be led by the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong and the Secretary for Economy and Finance of Macao. The two sides also established a co-ordinator system in February 2008, under which representatives from the respective bureaus or departments would serve as co-ordinators in 16 co-operation areas. The overall co-ordination work is jointly taken up by the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR and the Office of the Chief Executive of the Macao SAR.
"I am pleased that with the establishment of the co-ordinator system, various bureaus and departments in both Hong Kong and Macao are now taking forward co-operation projects through different channels," Mr Tsang said.
At today's meeting, both sides were pleased with the progress in a number of co-operation areas, in particular proposed measures to facilitate cross-boundary people flow.
Under the co-ordinator system, the Security Bureau and the Immigration Department of the Hong Kong SAR have engaged in active discussions on measures to further facilitate the flow of residents between the two places with the Identification Department of the Macao SAR, the Office of the Secretary for Security and the Immigration Department of the Macao Police. Experts from the two sides have also reached consensus on the direction of co-operation, and are actively taking forward the related study and discussions. Both sides expect to complete the study and to draw up a co-operation agreement as well as concrete implementation plans on the facilitation measures by the end of 2008.
Apart from immigration, close co-operation and communication will continue to be maintained in areas such as tourism and convention, cross-boundary ferry services, cross-boundary infrastructure, taxation arrangement, judicial assistance, district administration, civil service training, education and training, employment and professional exchange, city planning, cultural heritage protection, environmental protection, culture and sports, and public hygiene/medical care. The two sides will also look out for other new areas of co-operation.
Hong Kong SAR officials attending the meeting included representatives from the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, the Security Bureau and the Immigration Department.
Ends/Monday, June 30, 2008
HK and Macao to step up co-operation
The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang (second left), today (June 30) had a high-level co-operation meeting in Macao with the Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao Special Administrative Region, Mr Tam Pak Yuen (second right).