The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, and the Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Mr Fu Don-cheng, held a working meeting this afternoon (June 5) in Taipei. Following are the major points of the announcement made after the meeting:
Over the years, Hong Kong and Taiwan have established very close economic relations. Taiwan is Hong Kong's fourth largest trading partner in Asia. Since 1997, bilateral trade between Hong Kong and Taiwan has continued to increase. The flow of people between the two places is significant, with an annual average of over two million Taiwanese visitors coming to Hong Kong for business or leisure. All these factors demonstrate the very close ties between Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Following close liaison and discussions between the authorities on both sides in the last few months, we have agreed each to set up a new non-governmental body. This will be a new platform for fostering further exchanges and enhancing co-operation in trade, economic and other spheres. Both sides have reached consensus on the principles in relation to the new organisation. Hong Kong warmly welcomes this development.
Both sides will take the matter forward in three directions. Firstly, Taiwan will establish the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council. Hong Kong will set up the Hong Kong-Taiwan Business Co-operation Committee (BCC) under the Trade Development Council, with representatives from Hong Kong's commercial sector as members. The BCC will collaborate with the Economic Co-operation Committee to be established under the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council on issues of mutual interest, such as trade, investment, tourism and other areas.
Secondly, we hope that the bilateral co-operation committees will be established shortly and will hold its first meeting in the near future.
Thirdly, other than promoting non-governmental interaction, senior officials of both Governments will proactively participate in the activities of the bilateral co-operation committees. Senior officials of the Hong Kong Government will form a board of advisors to support the work of the BCC. The officials on both sides can also make use of this platform to communicate and exchange views on matters of mutual interest, and to explore and discuss issues for further enhancing co-operation between Hong Kong and Taiwan.
We expect that the Principal Officials of the HKSAR Government will visit Taiwan at the appropriate time. We would wish to discuss with our Taiwan counterparts matters of mutual interest, with a view to establishing concrete working relationships and building a stronger foundation for solid co-operation. We will also invite our Taiwan counterparts to visit Hong Kong to jointly foster exchanges and co-operation among us.
The authorities in Hong Kong and Taiwan are actively promoting the establishment of the new bilateral co-operation committees. The chairperson and members, as well as activities to be conducted by the respective committees, will be announced in due course.
At the invitation of the MAC, Mr Lam is visiting Taipei today and tomorrow to explore and discuss issues that will help further enhance co-operation between Hong Kong and Taiwan. Later today, he will pay a courtesy call on the Deputy Mayor of Taipei City, Dr Ching-Ji Wu.
Ends/Friday, June 5, 2009
SCMA visits Taipei (1)
The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, started his visit in Taipei today (June 5). Before a working meeting he shakes hands with the Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, Mr Fu Don-cheng.
SCMA visits Taipei (2)
The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam started his visit in Taipei today (June 5). At a working meeting Mr Lam (third right) with the Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, Mr Fu Don-cheng (fourth left), discussed issues that would help further enhance co-operation between Hong Kong and Taiwan.
SCMA visits Taipei (3)
The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, calls on the Deputy Mayor of Taipei City, Dr Ching-Ji Wu (right) today (June 5), the first day of Mr Lam's visit to Taipei.