In response to media enquiries on the remarks by Taipei City Mayor, Mr Hau Lung-bin, that Hong Kong and Taipei could strengthen exchanges, a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau today (June 26) said:
"With the enhanced Cross-Strait relations, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government promotes the exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan in a proactive manner.
"Currently, air services between Hong Kong and Taiwan are set out in a commercial arrangement signed between the airlines of the two places. We understand that the airlines of Hong Kong have been maintaining contact with their counterparts in Taiwan to review and update the existing arrangements through commercial discussions when necessary. The HKSARG hopes that the airlines of Hong Kong and Taiwan can further expand their services, increase capacity and create room for interested airlines to join the market and to open new routes, which will provide more choices for travellers and shippers.
"This April, we invited Taichung City Mayor to lead a delegation to Hong Kong to participate in the first 'Hong Kong – Taiwan Inter-City Forum', in a bid to enhance the inter-city interaction and exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan. During his visit to Taipei earlier this month, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, extended an invitation to Mayor Hau to lead a delegation to participate in the 'Hong Kong – Taiwan Inter-City Forum' to be held next year in Hong Kong. Exchange in areas such as municipal management, tourism, trade and commerce, and environmental protection could be made during the Forum.
"The Hong Kong Trade Development Council has set up an office in Taipei last October. Complementing the further development of Cross-Strait relations, with appropriate conditions and environment, the Government would not rule out the possibility of establishing an official or semi-official office in Taiwan."
Ends/Friday, June 26, 2009