Following is a question by the Hon Ng Leung-sing and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, in the Legislative Council today (December 5):
On September 6 this year, the State Council approved the Development Plan for Nansha New Area of Guangzhou (the Plan). Nansha New Area will be the sixth state-level new zone of China and the first one in southern China. It is strategically positioned as "a zone to demonstrate comprehensive co-operation amongst Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao". The Plan aims at aligning the business environment of Nansha New Area with international standards, as well as those of Hong Kong and Macao, on all fronts by 2025. Moreover, as disclosed by the Governor of Guangdong Province on October 10, "a co-ordination mechanism led by the National Development and Reform Commission and joined by various parties, such as relevant ministries and commissions of the State Council, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macao Special Administrative Region, Guangdong Province and Guangzhou City, will be established to enhance co-ordination and supervision in implementing the Plan". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) whether it has assessed the impact of the development of Nansha New Area on the economy, finance and other aspects of Hong Kong; and
(b) whether the government departments concerned have started the preparatory work for Hong Kong's participation in the aforesaid co-ordination mechanism; if they have, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
(a) The State Council endorsed the Plan for the Development of Nansha New District of Guangzhou (Nansha Development Plan) in September this year. Nansha Development Plan attaches great importance to deepening co-operation with Hong Kong and Macao on all fronts, and speeding up institutional innovation so as to build a business environment in line with Hong Kong and Macao in which international practices are adopted. This sets the macro development direction for Nansha. The Nansha Development Plan also states that Nansha will strengthen key economic sectors such as commercial services, scientific and technological innovation, education and training, maritime logistics and high-end manufacturing; facilitate continuous enhancement of the international competitiveness of Hong Kong; achieve liberalisation of trade in services with Hong Kong and Macao; and introduce measures to facilitate investment by small and medium enterprises from Hong Kong and Macao. We believe, with the implementation of these development directions and policies and if Hong Kong enterprises could seize upon the opportunities arising therefrom, Nansha, as a whole, could offer wide expansion scope for Hong Kong business in the Mainland. Since specific policies and detailed arrangement in pushing forward the development of Nansha have yet to be formulated by the relevant authorities, we are not able to make any substantive assessment at this stage on how development of Nansha may impact on the economic, financial or other aspects of Hong Kong.
(b) The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) has been maintaining close liaison with the Guangzhou Government. The two sides have established the Hong Kong/Guangzhou Co-operation Working Group to serve as the communication platform on pushing forward the development of Nansha. The related bureaux of HKSARG have been watching closely the progress of the development of Nansha and conveying views of the industries, collected through meetings, seminars and written submissions, to the relevant authorities. These efforts shall lay a foundation for HKSARG's active participation in the co-ordination mechanism to be led by the National Development and Reform Commission.
Ends/Wednesday, December 5, 2012