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SCMA meets the media in Beijing

     The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, visiting Beijing, met officials of the National Development and Reform Commission today (January 14) to discuss the preparatory work of the SAR Government in complementing the National 12th Five-Year Plan. Following is the transcript of his remarks to the media about the meeting :

     Today's visit to Beijing is principally to have a working session with the National Development and Reform Commission. This is a process of Hong Kong taking part and contributing to the composition of the National 12th Five-Year Plan. This is a process which we began in May last year. In May last year, I and a group of departmental representatives visited the National Development and Reform Commission. In September last year, we invited the Commission representatives to Hong Kong for a seminar. And, during the Chief Executive's visit to Beijing in December last year, he also raised with national leaders the issue of Hong Kong contributing to the preparation of the National 12th Five-Year Plan.

     In today's discussions, we focused on broad directions in which the Central Government can prepare the 12th Five-Year Plan in a manner which could enhance Hong Kong’s position as an international financial, trading and shipping centre. I believe there are three policy directions which are important to Hong Kong.

     Firstly, we hope that the Central Government will be prepared to consider adopting policies and measures which will further enhance Hong Kong's position as an international financial centre, for example, making use of Hong Kong as the testing ground for new Renminbi business to be commenced outside of the Mainland.

     Secondly, based on the foundations which we have already laid in implementing the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement since 2003, we hope that Hong Kong can have broader scopes in developing our professional, financial and other services in Guangdong.

     Thirdly, we understand that within the Mainland, a very important priority nowadays is to develop environmental policies which will reduce polluting emissions and which will also promote the development of clean energy industries. We believe that on these fronts, Hong Kong can also make a contribution, for example, by cooperating closely with the Guangdong Provincial Government in these regards.

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

Ends/Thursday, January 14, 2010