The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, this afternoon (April 3) attended a forum on the National 12th Five-Year Plan organised by the National School of Administration Hong Kong Alumni Association. Following is the transcript (English portion) of Mr Lam's remarks to the media afterwards:
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: The adoption of the National 12th Five-Year is to be warmly applauded and accepted in Hong Kong. There are a number of important areas which will benefit Hong Kong's development of the Mainland market access henceforth.
Firstly, the Central Government has made clear that it will support and upgrade Hong Kong's position as an international financial, trading and shipping centre. Therefore, the development of the Renminbi (RMB) business in Hong Kong will continue to expand. As at early 2010, we only had about RMB 50 billion accumulated in Hong Kong. But by the end of 2010, we already had over RMB 370 billion. As at the end of February, the amount has grown to over RMB 400 billion. So we are experiencing exponential growth in the RMB business in Hong Kong and we believe that this will continue. Henceforth, our mission is to develop more RMB business products so that more financial returns can be made by investors and more employment opportunities will be provided in Hong Kong.
Secondly, the Central Government has also undertaken to allow the free trade arrangements between Hong Kong and the Mainland to continue to expand, in particular certain pilot measures currently only established in Guangdong can be extended to other provinces and regions in the Mainland.
Thirdly, there will be new opportunities for regional co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland. For example, in the last year and a half, we have been discussing very actively with the Guangdong and Shenzhen authorities to establish a new area in Shenzhen called Qianhai. Even though this is only a limited territory of 15 square kilometres, we believe that it has every potential of being developed into a new financial, professional and service industry centre for Hong Kong service providers to establish themselves in the Mainland. We also believe that this will start off another round of developments for the next 30 years. Following the industralisation of the southern Mainland region in the last 30 years, we will now have the opportunity to upgrade the professional and service industries in the Mainland through very active participation by Hong Kong.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Sunday, April 3, 2011