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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) today (September 21) released a study report on "Hong Kong's Roles and Positioning in the Economic Development of the Nation".

     The Chairman of the GPRDBC, Dr Victor Fung, said that 2010 is the critical moment for the nation to draw up the 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (12th Five-Year Plan). The 12th Five-Year Plan not only provides the blueprint for the nation's social and economic developments in 2011 to 2015, but also indications on Hong Kong's future's development. With a view to utilising Hong Kong's unique advantages to support and complement the nation's development, the GPRDBC commissioned a study and compiled this report to explore Hong Kong's roles and positioning in the economic development of the country with the aim of putting forward constructive recommendations for the long-term development of the country and Hong Kong.

     The recommendations in this report are mainly proposed by the four sub-groups of the GPRDBC. They are the results of much deliberation and research. The study report consists of seven parts. The first four parts illustrate the new economic landscapes (both domestically and abroad) to be faced by the country during the 12th Five Year Plan period, the development history of Hong Kong's economy, our established advantages and the challenges ahead. Part V gives an analysis from sectoral and regional perspectives of Hong Kong's roles and positioning in the country's economic development. Part VI puts forward recommendations in terms of directions and initiatives that can reinforce the above positioning. The end of the report in Part VII sums up the GPRDBC's expectations of the 12th Five-Year Plan for reference by the government departments concerned. Details of the recommendations of the four sub-groups are in the appendices of the report (in Chinese).

     The GPRDBC hopes that the central authorities will consider the following eight points when drawing up the 12th Five-Year Plan Outline:

From a Sectoral Perspective

1. Consolidating and enhancing Hong Kong's position as an international financial centre, a trade centre, and a shipping (sea and air freight) and logistics centre; actively exploring Hong Kong's development into an offshore renminbi centre; supporting and promoting the development of Hong Kong's services industry, especially the six priority industries (i.e. testing and certification services, medical services, innovation and technology, cultural and creative industries, environmental industries and education services); and proactively identifying new engines of economic growth.

From a Regional Perspective

2. Supporting Hong Kong and Guangdong to make use of the "early and pilot implementation" arrangements in innovative domains and to continue under the principle of reciprocity and mutual benefits to serve as a testing field for and a pioneer in deepening the nation's reform, and thus exerting a positive and exemplary influence on the whole nation.

3. Giving full consideration to the Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta and the Framework Agreement on Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation, and highlighting the positions and functions of Hong Kong and Guangdong in the part related to regional development of the 12th Five-Year Plan Outline; further implementing and deepening CEPA, leveraging the strengths of Hong Kong's services industry, and promoting integration between the services industries of Hong Kong and Guangdong with a view to facilitating the PRD's development towards a higher value-added economy, building jointly a world-class metropolis with a better quality living environment, and dovetailing the pioneering development and reform of Hong Kong and Guangdong with the development of the central and western regions of the country.

4. Moving towards seamless connections of the flows of people, vehicles and goods; improving the network of cross-boundary infrastructure; and reinforcing the positions of Hong Kong and Guangdong as a modern economic circulation sphere, a gateway for Asia to access global markets as well as a hub of regional headquarters for multinational enterprises.

On follow up

5. The government departments concerned to formulate implementation and execution plans in accordance with the parts relating to Hong Kong in the 12th Five-Year Plan Outline.

6. Efforts to be made to persuade the central authorities to take full account of Hong Kong's roles and positioning when formulating major specific plans in the future, so that Hong Kong can participate and complement the planning as appropriate.

7. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, Hong Kong to start conducting preliminary preparations and studies for the 13th Five-Year Plan in order to garner more participation, support and recognition from all sectors of society.

8. With regard to the systemic obstacles hampering the development of individual service industries, the governments and industries concerned of Hong Kong and Guangdong to make recommendations to and solicit support from the central authorities, and then put forward concrete remedial and implementation measures so that the development of the services industry can be taken forward through a gradual improvement of the relevant laws and regulations of the country and genuine enforcement of the implementation details and supporting policies of CEPA on liberalising various industries.

     An executive summary of the study report is at: www.cmab.gov.hk/en/issues/council.htm .

     In accordance with the premise of "One Country, Two Systems" and the principle of reciprocity and mutual benefits, the GPRDBC expects that Hong Kong will consolidate and enhance its roles and strategic positioning in the nation's future economic development and utilise Hong Kong's edge in modernisation and international networking to create favourable conditions for the long-term development of Hong Kong, the Pearl River Delta and the whole country.

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 business, professional and various sectors and making recommendations to the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Altogether there are 35 persons in the GPRDBC. Dr Victor Fung is the Chairman and the four sub-group. Convenors are Mr Ignatius Chan Tze-ching (Services Industry Development and Human Resources), Mr Alan Tung Lieh-sing (Cross-boundary Passenger & Cargo Flow), Mr Anthony Wu Ting-yuk (Joint Investment & Trade Promotion) and Ms Marjorie Yang Mun-tak (Sustainable Development).

Ends/Tuesday, September 21, 2010