The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, attended the 6th Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation and Development Forum in Fuzhou, Fujian Province today (August 28). Following is the transcript of Mr Lam's response to a media question:
Reporter:...on co-operation and competition with Guangdong following the approval of Qianhai's development...
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: The approval by the State Council of Qianhai's development planning parameters is very important to Hong Kong. Since 30 years ago - in the 1980s - the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was established, Hong Kong has been investing very intensively in the Mainland. Our investments have focused on, in the last three decades, primarily on the manufacturing industries. And we have jointly witnessed the rapid industrialisation of the Mainland, particularly in the Pearl River Delta region.
All these investments have been very beneficial to Hong Kong. We have established over 100,000 factories and companies in Guangdong. And these companies employ over 10 million people. If you look at the fact that Hong Kong itself only has 3.4 million workforce, this means that about three times the workforce of Hong Kong everyday apply themselves very fully to expand the economic development potential of Hong Kong in the Mainland, and through exports to foreign economies.
But we need to move on. We should henceforth focus on two directions.
Firstly, the manufacturing industries in the Mainland established by Hong Kong need to be upgraded. Our investments need to be made more environmentally friendly. Our technologies need to be upgraded so that the products will earn a higher profit margin for Hong Kong.
Secondly we need to develop the Mainland market for Hong Kong's financial services, professional services and other service industries. Hong Kong has a population of seven million people. In a globalised economy, this is a relatively small market. Under the CEPA which has been sign between Hong Kong and the Mainland since 2003, we can now establish some of our financial services and professional sectors in Guangdong on a pilot basis. However we need to go beyond that and that is the significance of the State Council's approval of the new planning parameters for the Qianhai development in Shenzhen. We very much hope that there will be new room for Hong Kong's financial services, professional sectors and other service industries to invest in Qianhai, so that henceforth this will become a springboard for the upgrading of Hong Kong's service industry investment in the Mainland. And this will also become a focal point for Hong Kong's service industries to develop our market in the Mainland, starting from Shenzhen and the rest of Guangdong, and eventually to the Pan-Pearl River Delta.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Saturday, August 28, 2010