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SCMA speaks to the media on the Cooperation Arrangement

     Following is the transcript of the remarks made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, to the media after signing the "Cooperation Arrangement on Support of Restoration and Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas" with the People's Government of Sichuan Province in Chengdu today (October 11):

     Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: Today, the HKSAR Government has entered into a cooperation arrangement with the Sichuan Provincial Government to cover 20 reconstruction projects in the rebuilding of Sichuan Province. In total, this amounts to participation in financial terms of HK$1.9 billion. This is within the HK$2 billion assistance which we received the support of the Legislative Council in July this year. Some of the projects involved will cover Highway 303, five schools, four social services centres, eight hospitals and one rehabilitation centre. It also covers a planning study for the reconstruction of Wolong reserve for pandas. We still have about HK$100 million available for non-government organisations (NGOs) in Hong Kong to apply for. These NGOs in Hong Kong will need to enter into a partnership arrangement with approved departments or organisations in Sichuan. Such approval has to be granted by the Sichuan Provincial Government. Normally, we would expect that NGOs will submit proposals which amount to HK$10 million or less. But if there are special projects which merit special consideration, we will view these applications flexibly. We will consider the first batch of such applications from NGOs by the end of November.

(Please also refers to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, October 11, 2008