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The Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council releases study report

The following is issued on behalf of the Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council:

     The Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council (GPRDBC) has today (September 24) released a study report in response to the Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta (2008-2020) (the Outline).

     The GPRDBC set up an ad hoc group in April 2009 with an aim to leveraging the opportunities arising from the Outline and making pragmatic recommendations in response to the Outline. On the basis of the win-win principle between Hong Kong and Guangdong, the ad hoc group conducted studies, meetings and consultation with the foci on industries and livelihood matters in the past six months. The GPRDBC hoped that the release of the study report could facilitate the implementation of the Outline.

     The study report covers two major areas - industries and livelihood matters, grouped into seven key headings with 47 strategic suggestions spanning over 14 topics. The 14 topics are professional services (legal, finance, accounting, maritime and logistics, insurance), SME, innovation technology, culture and creativity, and testing and certification, healthcare services, environmental protection, education, transport, and social services.

     The study report sets out the following seven key headings:

     1. Coordinating hard and soft infrastructure and facilitating the four flows (information, passenger, logistics and capital flows)
     2. New systems and common standards
     3. Streamlining procedures and lowering entry threshold
     4. Seeking sustainable development and forming a quality living area
     5. Integrating social service resources and facilitating cross-border living
     6. Furthering collaboration in education and technology co-operation and optimising overall workforce quality
     7. Enhancing financial infrastructure and guarding against financial risks

     For details of the 47 suggestions under the above seven key headings, please refer to the report and the appendices. The appendices are available on http://www.cmab.gov.hk/en/issues/council.htm.

     Dr Victor Fung, the Chairman of the GPRDBC, said that currently, the Nation was formulating the "12-5" Plan and the governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong were working on the "Framework Agreement on Hong Kong-Guangdong Co-operation" as well as planning to facilitate regional co-operation. In this regard, the GPRDBC projected that the study report which provided win-win strategic recommendations could bring the co-operation between Hong Kong and Guangdong to a new height and facilitate the Nation to look for new directions in the future economic reform, development, upgrading and restructuring.

     Ms Marjorie Yang, the convenor of the Sub-group on Industries, said that all industrial developments were driven by people's demand with a purpose of improving people's livelihood. Hence, Hong Kong and Guangdong should understand people's needs and taste so as to make corresponding moves. Besides, the future industrial developments should emphasise original innovation and high added value which would enhance the overall competitiveness of Hong Kong and Guangdong as well as the Nation.

     Mr Cheng Yiu-tong, the convenor of the Sub-group on Livelihood Matters, said that the communication between the Hong Kong Government and various sectors in the community should be strengthened with an aim to raising public recognition of Hong Kong-Guangdong collaboration and attracting more public attention to the general trend of integration of the two economies. In addition, he said that both Hong Kong and Guangdong should have liberal thinking to leverage the opportunities arising from the Outline and to push forward the recommendations and policies which would be beneficial to the people's livelihood and the economies.

     The GPRDBC also suggested in the report establishing a follow-up mechanism on a short to medium term and medium to long term basis in order to turn proposals into concrete actions. These would facilitate a new phase of economic integration and sustainable development in Hong Kong and Guangdong. Taking the service industry as an example, some of them found obstacles in the current entry system or approval procedure which had hampered the development of service industry. The GPRDBC proposed that the Governments and industry sectors of the two places should make representations to the Central Authorities, pinpointing the need for gradual perfection of the relevant laws and regulations in the country to facilitate the development of the service industry, and the upgrading and restructuring of the economies of Hong Kong and Guangdong.

Background of the GPRDBC

     Established in March 2004, the GPRDBC is a non-governmental organisation under the Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference engaged mainly in collating the views of the business, professional and various sectors and making recommendations to the Governments of both places. The ad hoc group consists of 25 members and is chaired by GPRDBC's chairman Dr Victor Fung. Mr Tung Chee-chen and Ms Yang Mun-tak, Marjorie are the convenors of the Sub-group on Industries and Mr Cheng Yiu-tong is the convenor of the Sub-group on Livelihood Matters.

Ends/Thursday, September 24, 2009