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ECCPC and THEC hold fourth joint meeting in Hong Kong

     The following is issued on behalf of the secretariat to the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council:

     The Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council (ECCPC) and the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council (THEC) held their fourth joint meeting in Hong Kong today (September 27). The meeting was co-chaired by the ECCPC Chairperson, Mr Charles Lee, and the THEC Chairman, Mr Liu Te-shun. The ECCPC Honorary Chairperson, Mr John C Tsang, delivered opening remarks at the meeting.

     Mr Tsang said, "With the efforts of our fellow ECCPC and THEC colleagues over the years, the Councils have become an institutionalised platform for Hong Kong and Taiwan to discuss co-operation on public policy matters. The ECCPC-THEC platform will continue to serve its unique function to take forward multi-faceted and multi-level co-operation and exchanges between the two places."

     At the joint meeting today, both sides reviewed the Councils' achievements in the past year in various co-operation areas on the economic and trade, cultural, tourism, social livelihood, city management and law enforcement exchanges fronts. These achievements included:

(a) On the economic, trade and investment fronts, the authorities on economic affairs of both sides held comprehensive talks in June this year to exchange views on a series of economic and trade issues. In addition, the export credit insurance organisations of both places have just signed a memorandum of co-operation to assist Hong Kong and Taiwan businesses in enhancing their risk management and expanding the external trade of both places.

(b) On tourism co-operation, the tourism promotion organisations of Hong Kong and Taiwan announced to join hands in taking forward cruise tourism development in both places, and would bring about more cruise journeys between Hong Kong and Taiwan with home port at Hong Kong.

(c) On cultural exchanges, the Hong Kong side launched the first "Hong Kong Week" in Taipei to stage performances by Hong Kong arts groups for the Taiwan community, and would organise the second "Hong Kong Week" in Taipei in late-November this year.

(d) On the city management front, the Secretary for the Environment and the Secretary for Development for their first time led delegations to Taiwan respectively to visit the environmental protection facilities and historic buildings at Taipei City, as well as to attend the "Hong Kong-Taipei Intercity Forum".

(e) On education exchanges, the education authorities of both sides paid mutual visits in the past year. The organisations for the accreditation of academic qualifications in Hong Kong and Taiwan had just signed a memorandum of co-operation to strengthen mutual understanding, and to enhance the development of review and accreditation systems for higher education in both places. Also, the higher education institutions of both sides had stepped up their efforts to recruit more Taiwan and Hong Kong students, thereby making available more study pathways for them.

(f) On the exchanges between law enforcement personnel, the police, anti-corruption, immigration and correctional services departments of both sides visited each other, and established a liaison mechanism.

     The ECCPC and the THEC are the platform for Hong Kong and Taiwan to pursue exchanges and co-operation on public policy areas. For the coming year, both sides agreed to take forward and deepen the multi-faceted co-operation between Hong Kong and Taiwan through the ECCPC-THEC platform in the spirit of pragmatism and mutual benefit, with a view to making strides in Hong Kong-Taiwan relations.

Ends/Friday, September 27, 2013