The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, and the Mayor of Taichung City, Mr Jason Hu, today (April 15) held a media conference after attending the HK-Taiwan Inter-City Forum. Following is the transcript of the answer (English portion) by Mr Lam to a media question:
Reporter: Do you think closer ties between Hong Kong and Taiwan will in any way improve the relations between Taiwan and the Mainland? Also, after today’s forum and after Mayor Hu’s visit, what can we expect next?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I think it is very important that we have held this inter-city forum in Hong Kong today. Mayor Jason Hu has broken us new ground.
As for follow-up on the part of the Hong Kong Government, we believe that firstly at this stage, it is important for us to continue to promote economic and trade links between Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Government welcomes warmly the notion on the parts of both sides of the Taiwan Strait for exploring economic cooperation framework agreements. We hope that in the process Hong Kong can play a constructive role.
Secondly, we expect that henceforth Secretaries of the Government will progressively visit Taiwan more often. We will also seek to build contacts and liaison links with our counter-parts in Taiwan. We will explore opportunities to invite our counter-parts to visit Hong Kong.
Thirdly, we believe that it is necessary to give form and substance to Hong Kong-Taiwan relations. Last year, we have already established a Hong Kong Trade Development Council office in Taipei. For the next step, we will consult the Taiwanese authorities on the possibility of establishing a proper office to represent the Hong Kong Tourism Board. As for the longer run, the Hong Kong Government will not rule out the possibility of establishing either an official or a semi-official presence in Taiwan.
Finally, we warmly welcome the reciprocal indications from Mayor Jason Hu for us to visit Taichung some time in the course of next year to further our cooperation. Many specific ideas for establishing closer trade and tourism links between the two places have been put forth today. In the months ahead, we will explore the possibility of implementing those ideas and putting them into practice together with the Trade Development Council, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and industry representatives.
(Following Mayor Hu’s comment on a win-win-win situation among the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan)
I can actually affirm this trilateral relationship will benefit all three parties. The Hong Kong Government has consistently supported the introduction and implementation of the “Three Direct Links”. We believe that the broadening of the regional economy across Taiwan Strait will benefit enterprises and the service sector in all three places. We believe that if Mainland enterprises were one day able to invest in Taiwan, and for that matter if more Taiwan enterprises were able to invest in the Mainland, eventually, many more of these successful enterprises will come and list in the Hong Kong Exchange.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, April 15, 2009
SCMA attends meet-the-media session
Photo shows the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, and the Mayor of Taichung City, Mr Jason Hu, meeting the media after attending the "Hong Kong-Taiwan Inter-City Forum" today (April 15).