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CS and Mayor of Shenzhen co-chair Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Stephen Lam, and the Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Mr Xu Qin, co-chaired the 2011 Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting in the new Central Government Offices today (November 25). Relevant Principal Officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government as well as officials of the Shenzhen Municipal Government attended the meeting.

     Mr Lam said, "The meeting has achieved very fruitful results. Hong Kong and Shenzhen have been maintaining close partnership under the principles of 'complementarity, co-ordinated development and mutual benefits'. In the past year, both sides have made good progress in various co-operation areas. In the coming year, both sides will pursue further co-operation with a forward-looking vision, leveraging the Mainland's support on Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation as stipulated in the National 12th Five-Year Plan, and proactively implementing the policies related to Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation announced by the Vice-Premier of the State Council, Mr Li Keqiang, during his visit to Hong Kong in August this year. Moreover, both sides will put forward more people-based co-operation initiatives to improve the quality of life for people of both places in the coming year."

     The two sides comprehensively reviewed the work progress of the past year, and conducted in-depth discussion on co-operation in a number of key areas, such as Qianhai development, financial services, trade, industries, cross-boundary infrastructure and livelihood issues, etc. The two sides agreed to continue to deepen and expand co-operation, guided by the directions of national economic development. The progress made and directions for further co-operation in individual areas are set out below.

Co-operation on modern service industries in Qianhai

     On Qianhai, the National 12th Five-Year Plan has affirmed the important position of Qianhai as the "Hong Kong/Guangdong modern service industries co-operation exemplary zone" in the national development strategy. Vice-Premier Li announced in August that the Central People's Government would formulate preferential policies in the areas of finance and taxation, land, labour protection and human resources to promote the development of modern service industries in Qianhai. Moreover, at the first meeting of the Inter-ministries Joint Conference on the Development of Qianhai into a Hong Kong/Shenzhen Modern Service Industries Co-operation Zone chaired by the National Development and Reform Commission in September this year, representatives from relevant central ministries and the Guangdong Provincial Government reaffirmed their support for the development of Qianhai. Also at the meeting, the Guangdong Provincial Government announced that a foreign-invested services sector in Qianhai could serve the entire Guangdong Province, some of the provincial approval authorities in respect of the establishment and operation of enterprises would be delegated to the Qianhai authorities, Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) early and pilot measures could be implemented in Qianhai, and the development of transport infrastructure connecting Qianhai and neighbouring areas would be accelerated. Building on the above progress, both Governments will, in the coming year, promptly formulate specific proposals for further preferential policies for approval by the Central People's Government, so as to take full advantage of Qianhai's geographical location and formulate a policy environment to attract Hong Kong enterprises and professional service providers to invest and set up business there.

Legal and arbitration co-operation

     Riding on the opportunities for the legal and arbitration professions of the two places arising from the "Overall Development Plan on Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation on Modern Service Industries in Qianhai Area", the two sides signed the "Arrangement for Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation on legal services" before the meeting to provide a platform for enhancing co-operation between the two places. In the coming year, the two sides will commence discussion as soon as possible to strive for early implementation of relevant measures announced by Vice-Premier Li in August this year, including the identification of better modes of association between Hong Kong and Mainland law firms, fostering closer co-operation between the legal professions of the two places, and to allowing Hong Kong arbitration institutions to provide service directly in Qianhai. The aim is to establish a business-friendly legal environment for Qianhai and contribute to the Mainland's effort to align its legal services with international standards.

Development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop

     Both sides agreed to jointly develop the Lok Ma Chau Loop under the principle of "One Country, Two Systems", and adopting "co-development and mutual benefit" as the guideline. Both sides reached preliminary consensus on various issues including development positioning, applicable laws, land administration and co-development mechanisms. A co-operation agreement framework for co-development of the Loop was signed before the meeting. In the coming year, both sides will continue the efforts to push forward the co-development of the Loop for commencement of operation by 2020, thereby contributing to the development of higher education as set out in the "Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta Region".

Cross-boundary infrastructure and facilitation of
movements at boundary control points

     Both sides have maintained close communication and co-operation on the development of cross-boundary infrastructure. The results of the International Design Ideas Competition for Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point (BCP) Passenger Terminal Building, jointly organised by the two sides, were announced in September this year. The two sides agreed to take forward the design of the passenger terminal building with reference to the winning entry of the competition, and to actively prepare for detailed design work. Construction work for the BCP is scheduled to commence in 2013. The two sides will regularly review their implementation programmes with a view to commissioning the BCP no later than 2018.

     In addition, preparation for improvement works for the Shenzhen River Stage 4 is making good progress. The improvement works will tie in with the construction of the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai BCP.

     To facilitate movement of Mainland visitors across the boundary, Mainland frequent visitors holding multiple-entry endorsement (including Shenzhen residents with household registrations holding one-year multi-trip individual visit endorsement) will, after registration, be allowed to use the e-Channel service at Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Points starting from January next year. The Immigration Department will accept registration at major control points for eligible Mainland visitors from early December this year. The measure will further enable Mainlanders to visit Hong Kong and enhance exchanges between the two places.

Finance, economic and trade co-operation

     In the coming year, both sides will actively promote financial co-operation, implement the package of financial measures announced by Vice-Premier Li in August this year to further enhance financial co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland, and assist Hong Kong's financial institutions to make use of the innovative financial services platform in Qianhai to tap into the Mainland market, while contributing to the orderly development of the Mainland's financial sector.

     In addition, both sides have been encouraging the issuers of electronic payment cards to study the feasibility of introducing cards that could be used for public transportation and retail purchases in the two places. Currently, the issuers are examining technical details and implementation schedule with a view to rolling out a "two-in-one card" as soon as possible.

     Shenzhen is one of the "model cities on CEPA implementation" designated by the Ministry of Commerce. In the coming year, the two sides will enhance co-operation in promotion and implementation of CEPA, with a view to further deepening the implementation of CEPA in Shenzhen.

Education co-operation

     As for education co-operation, the second batch of eligible Primary Six students graduating from schools for Hong Kong children in Shenzhen has been allocated Secondary One school places to study in Hong Kong in September this year. In addition, the three non-government schools in Shenzhen already approved to operate classes for Hong Kong children will take part in the 2011-13 allocation cycle under the Hong Kong Secondary School Places Allocation System for Secondary One places in schools in Hong Kong. The fourth non-government school recently approved to operate classes for Hong Kong children in Shenzhen will join the 2012-14 allocation cycle. The HKSAR Government has also facilitated the establishment of sister-schools relationships between the above-mentioned Shenzhen schools and Hong Kong schools to enhance exchanges and co-operation. The two sides will also strengthen co-operation to enable cross-boundary students to commute safely and smoothly.

     With regard to higher education, the HKSAR Government has all along been encouraging local institutions to collaborate with their Mainland counterparts according to their own mission and development needs, particularly in research and development and academic exchange. With the support of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the Shenzhen University are preparing for the establishment of CUHK (Shenzhen) in Shenzhen.

Environmental co-operation

     Both sides have made good progress on the environmental co-operation front. The first review of the regional water quality control strategy for Mirs Bay was completed in September this year in accordance with the work plan. The overall water quality of Mirs Bay was found to be satisfactory. The Cleaner Production Partnership Programme is also making satisfactory progress. As at October 2011, more than 370 applications for funding support from Hong Kong-owned factories in Shenzhen have been approved, representing 23 per cent of the total approved applications. To enhance synergies in raising energy efficiency and reducing emissions, both sides organised more than 40 promotion activities with some 3,200 participants from enterprises of the two sides. In addition, the 2011 EcoExpo Asia was held in October this year in Hong Kong to promote the development of environmental industries. Shenzhen authorities arranged for local enterprises to exhibit at the fair to explore green business opportunities in both places. Furthermore, Shenzhen's BYD Company Limited has set up an electric vehicle research and development laboratory in the Hong Kong Science Park, which is an important step in the joint promotion of green transportation.

Medical and health co-operation

     On the medical and health front, the University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Hospital project has made good progress. The Hospital will start to operate in phases from early 2012 to provide outpatient, inpatient and other services. Since the first quarter of this year, health authorities of Hong Kong and Shenzhen have jointly introduced a pilot scheme for transfer of patient records of Hong Kong residents to facilitate direct communication between hospitals in the two places after the patients are transferred back to Hong Kong.

The 26th Universiade

     The 26th Universiade was successfully held in Shenzhen in August this year. Over 12,000 athletes and sports officials from over 140 countries and regions participated in the games. Leveraging its role as a major aviation and transportation hub in the region, Hong Kong facilitated the smooth transfer of participants to and from Shenzhen via Hong Kong, under the guidance and co-ordination of a joint working group set up by the two governments. In addition, some 860 volunteers from Hong Kong provided supporting services to the 26th Universiade. The successful organisation of the 26th Universiade demonstrated the strength of the co-operative relationship between the two places in organising large-scale events.

     In addition to the above, both sides have made steady progress in co-operation areas including tourism, creative industry, innovative technology, testing and certification, cultural exchange and civil servant exchange, etc.

Co-operation agreements signing ceremony

     The two Governments signed the following four co-operation agreements before the meeting:

* "Co-operation arrangement on legal matters"
* "Co-operation agreement on jointly taking forward the development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop"
* "Co-operation agreement on enhancement of safety of imported and exported food"
* "Long-term co-operation agreement in numerical weather prediction technology"


     Officials accompanying the Chief Secretary for Administration in attending the meeting included the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So; the Head of the Central Policy Unit, Professor Lau Siu-kai; the Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Joshua Law; the Under Secretary for the Environment, Dr Kitty Poon; the Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Ms Julia Leung; and the Under Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Yau Shing-mu. The Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Ms Guo Li, and the Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department, Mr Wang Bingxin, also attended the meeting. The Secretary for Justice, Mr Wong Yan Lung, SC, and the Permanent Secretary for Food and Health, Mrs Marion Lai, attended the co-operation agreements signing ceremony.

Ends/Friday, November 25, 2011

Mr Lam (second row, fifth right) and Mr Xu (second row, fifth left) witness the signing of co-operation agreements between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

CS attends 2011 Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting (1)

Mr Lam (second row, fifth right) and Mr Xu (second row, fifth left) witness the signing of co-operation agreements between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

Mr Lam (second row, fifth right) and Mr Xu (second row, fifth left) witness the signing of co-operation agreements between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

CS attends 2011 Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting (2)

Mr Lam (second row, fifth right) and Mr Xu (second row, fifth left) witness the signing of co-operation agreements between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.