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SCMA's remarks to the media in Beijing

     The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, and representatives from the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, Transport and Housing Bureau, Food and Health Bureau, Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Home Affairs Bureau and Environmental Protection Department met officials of the National Development and Reform Commission in Beijing this morning (July 5) to discuss the complementary work of the SAR Government in relation to the National 12th Five-Year Plan. Following is the transcript of Mr Lam's remarks to the media after the meeting:

     This is the third occasion in the last year or so that I and my colleagues from the HKSAR Government have visited Beijing to hold talks with the National Development and Reform Commission on how Hong Kong can best participate in the composition of the National 12th Five-Year Plan.

     Today we have put forth our proposals in three main areas.

     Firstly, we hope that the Central Government will continue to support and to promote the further enhancement of Hong Kong's position as an international financial, trading and shipping centre.

     Secondly, we have proposed that the Central Government should adopt policies to facilitate and to enable the further development of the professional services and service industries of Hong Kong on the Mainland. Our hope is that we will be able to promote Hong Kong's service industries development to capture the very broad market on the Mainland starting with a population of something exceeding 50 million people in the Pearl River Delta, and thereafter to the 400 million people in the Pan-Pearl River Delta region.

     Thirdly, we have been able to achieve and make very substantive progress in terms of regional co-operation with the Mainland, in particular with the Guangdong Provincial Government. In April, we entered into a Framework Agreement with Guangdong and we have set six broad directions in terms of differentiating the roles between Hong Kong and Guangdong in further developments henceforth. We have proposed to the National Development and Reform Commission that regional co-operation should be featured in the National 12th Five-Year Plan so that Hong Kong will be able to gain extra room for development on the Mainland, and the Central Government ministries will respectively adopt policies which facilitate the further enhancement of such regional co-operation.

     We believe that the Central Government, including the National Development and Reform Commission, will adopt a very positive attitude towards Hong Kong's participation in the formulation of the 12th Five-Year Plan. And, within Hong Kong itself, we are receiving very broad support. The Legislative Council has passed motions which support the participation by Hong Kong in the formulation of the 12th Five-Year Plan and also in the implementation of the Framework Agreement with Guangdong.

     Thank you very much.

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

Ends/Monday, July 5, 2010