The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr Donald Tsang, and the Mayor of Beijing Municipality, Mr Guo Jinlong, today (November 25) co-chaired the Third Plenary Session of the Hong Kong-Beijing Economic and Trade Co-operation Conference at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Mr Tsang and Mayor Guo shared the view that since the Second Plenary Session in November 2006, both sides had been working closely together to push forward Hong Kong-Beijing co-operation in the eight areas of economic and trade, city management and public services, education, tourism, financial services, medical and health, professional exchanges, as well as innovation technology and creative and cultural industries.
The Financial Secretary of the HKSAR, Mr John C Tsang, summarised the progress of Hong Kong-Beijing co-operation over the past four years.
Economic and Trade
Hong Kong is the largest source of inward investment for Beijing. Between 2007 and 2009, the realised investment from Hong Kong had increased from US$1.49 billion to US$2.7 billion, representing an increase of over 80 per cent. As at end of 2009, the number of cumulative investment projects in Beijing from Hong Kong exceeded 10,000 and the cumulative realised investment from Hong Kong reached US$ 14 billion. Of the US$3.6 billion realised inward investment in Beijing in the first half of 2010, US$1.8 billion (or 50 per cent) was from Hong Kong.
Investment in Hong Kong from Beijing also sees significant increase. As at end of 2009, 123 enterprises from Beijing had been established in Hong Kong, doubling the 65 enterprises as at end of 2006. The amount of investment also increased from US$0.834 billion to US$1.1 billion.
Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) is an important platform to further economic and trade co-operation between Hong Kong and Beijing. The two governments have been keeping close liaison to assist investors of the two places to capitalise on the CEPA platform, including providing updated information on CEPA. The Beijing Municipal Government also updates the "CEPA Services Directory" regularly.
City management and public services
Relevant departments of Hong Kong and Beijing have maintained frequent interflow in traffic management and "smart-city development" through thematic seminars, including the "Hong Kong-Beijing Traffic Management Seminar" under the 13th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Co-operation Symposium (the Symposium) last October, and the "Hong Kong-Beijing Smart City Development Seminar" under the 14th Symposium held on November 24. The Transport Department and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer of the HKSAR participated actively in these activities.
In the "Eco Expo Asia" and "C40 Hong Kong Workshop" held in Hong Kong this month, the HKSAR Government invited the Beijing Municipal Government to participate in the exhibition and forum, as well as mobilising participation of Beijing environmental technology and services enterprises in the exhibition and exchange activities.
Since 2005, the Education Bureau of the HKSAR Government, the Beijing Municipal Education Commission and the relevant authority of Macao have been co-organising exchange activities for students of Beijing, Hong Kong and Macao to foster closer relationship and strengthen their understanding of the history and development of the nation and the three places. The "Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Schools Summer Camp -- Youth Hong Kong-Macao Journey" was successfully held in July this year.
The Education Bureau of the HKSAR Government, and the Principal Training Institute of the Ministry of Education have co-organised training sessions for primary school principals in recent years with a view to deepening their understanding of education reform and school management in China, as well as sharpening their leadership skills.
With the support of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the National Tourism Administration, four travel agents in Beijing have set up the "Honest and Quality Hong Kong Tour" online counter to promote honest and quality tourism.
In October 2009, the Hong Kong Tourism Board Beijing Office organised a Hong Kong tourism photo exhibition under the 13th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Co-operation Symposium. The former and Beijing Tourism Administration co-organised a seminar on "Honest and Quality tour". The Hong Kong Tourism Board participated in the Beijing International Tourism Expo organised by the Beijing Tourism Administration. On November 24, the Beijing Tourism Administration and Hong Kong Tourism Board also co-organised a "Beijing-Hong Kong Tourism Promotion" activity under this year's Symposium.
In May 2007, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury led a delegation of senior management of the Hong Kong financial services sector to visit Beijing to promote Hong Kong's financial services and foster closer co-operation. In recent years, Hong Kong and Beijing have also co-organised the "Hong Kong-Beijing Financial Services Co-operation Forum" under each year's Symposium.
Hong Kong's capital market is mature and healthy and can serve as a platform for Beijing enterprises to go global and draw international capital. As at end October, there were 71 Beijing companies listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with a gross market value of some HK$660 billion. This represents a 100 per cent increase compared with the figure of 35 companies as at October 2007.
Medical and Health
Last November, the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, the Department of Health of the HKSARG and the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong concluded the "Memorandum of Understanding on Beijing-Hong Kong Co-operation", opening a new leaf on medical and health co-operation between the two cities. Public health authorities in the two places organised the "Beijing-Hong Kong Disease Control Seminar" and "Beijing-Hong Kong Health Education and Health Promotion Seminar" in the 12th and 13th Symposium respectively to strengthen the professional exchanges on medical and health between the two places.
On civil servant exchanges, as at October 2010, Beijing had sent 32 officials to Hong Kong, while Hong Kong had sent 17 officials to Beijing, involving over 20 departments from both sides. The scope of exchange was very wide, covering engineering and construction, urban planning, traffic and transportation, public housing, public health, industry and trade, intellectual property protection and public security etc. The participants and departments involved had given positive feedback about the exchange scheme. The current exchange agreement will expire by the end of 2010 and the two sides have started the discussion for a new agreement to continue the exchange activities.
Innovation and technology, and creative and cultural
The Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSARG entered into an agreement in 2006. The research institutes in Hong Kong have carried out a number of exchange and visit activities with the Tsinghua University and discussed co-operation projects on applied technology. The "Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company - Tsinghua University Joint Laboratory for Multimedia Broadcasting and Communication" was established in December 2007 with a view to developing advanced multimedia broadcasting technology, communication technology and intellectual property. The Joint Laboratory also formed a basis for advancing digital television broadcasting technology and its commercialisation in China. Furthermore, with the support of the Innovation and Technology Fund of the HKSAR, the Automotive Parts and Accessory System Research and Development Centre and the Tsinghua University have kick-started a research project called "Development of Advanced Vehicle Management and Drive System for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle".
On creative and cultural industries, in June 2007, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Beijing Sub-council co-organised the Style Hong Kong‧Beijing under the theme of "creativity, style and capitalise on the business potential". The exhibition showcased Hong Kong's creative industries, as well as lifestyle products and creative services. It also served as a platform for sharing the latest market information and professional experience. In July 2009, the Hong Kong Film Development Council led a group of new generation film directors and representatives from the post-production profession and conducted the "Beijing-HK Film Business Matching Event cum HK Post Production Industry Exhibition" to foster exchanges among the profession and investors of Beijing and Hong Kong.
Looking ahead, Mr Tsang and Mayor Guo agreed that the governments of the two places would continue to enhance the eight areas of co-operation, with particular focus on financial services, CEPA, innovation and technology, creative and cultural industries, and joint promotion.
On financial services, HKSAR is stepping up promotion of listing opportunities and the issue of Renminbi (RMB) bonds in Hong Kong by Beijing enterprises. HKSAR would also leverage its equity exchange platform to encourage Beijing enterprises to raise capitals in Hong Kong to enhance their business structure and go global. Beijing and Hong Kong will encourage enterprises to carry out cross-boundary RMB trading and investment activities in Hong Kong. The two places will also step up efforts in promoting mutual establishment of financial institutions and professional exchanges.
The CEPA Supplement VII concluded this May will come into force on January 1, 2011. To fully reap the benefits of CEPA, Beijing and Hong Kong will step up co-operation in implementing the relevant liberalisation measures, especially pilot initiatives applicable in Beijing.
Early and pilot implementation of CEPA liberalisation measures in Beijing include enabling Hong Kong service suppliers, on a pilot basis, to organise groups tours to Hong Kong and Macao for Beijing residents; and to organise overseas exhibitions and exhibitions in the form of cross-boundary supply of services. They also include establishment of a Beijing office by the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. Hong Kong and Beijing will continue to implement these pilot initiatives and, modeling on experiences in other provinces and municipalities, strive for the early and pilot implementation of more suitable CEPA liberalisation measures in Beijing.
Regarding innovation technology, a total of four State Key Laboratories (SKLs) in Hong Kong have partnered with State Laboratories in Beijing to conduct researches in communicable diseases, cognitive science, agricultural biotechnology and ultra precision machining technology. Both sides can strengthen co-operation under this framework. The HKSAR Government is working out implementation details to provide partner SKLs with financial assistance to enhance their research capabilities.
Hong Kong and Beijing could step up exchange and co-operation in creative design products marketing, comics and animation, entertainment, architecture as well as arts and culture. For example, both sides could step up efforts to enhance exchanges by organising study missions of the relevant professions to explore business opportunities, organise business matching and marketing activities to showcase the features and advantages of the creative and culture industries of the two places and to explore further co-operation opportunities. Both sides would also strengthen information exchange and co-organise thematic exhibitions with a view to building up brand-names for creative and culture industries.
Beijing is a city with a long history and rich culture, while Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city where the Eastern and Western cultures meet. Both sides can explore joint promotional efforts in the Mainland or overseas on local brand-name products, tourism, and financial services, etc.
The Third Plenary of the Hong Kong-Beijing Economic and Trade Co-operation Conference was co-chaired by the heads of HKSAR Government and Beijing Municipal Government. The Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr Zhou Bo, also attended the meeting. Other major officials from the Beijing Municipal Government attending the Conference include the Vice-mayor of Beijing, Mr Gou Zhongwen, the Vice-chairman of the Beijing Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Mr Li Xiaohong, and the Secretary-General of the Beijing Municipal Government, Mr Sun Kanglin. The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, and representatives from relevant bureaux and departments of the HKSAR Government also participated in the meeting.
Ends/Thursday, November 25, 2010