The following is issued on behalf of the Secretariat of the Consultative Committee on Economic and Trade Co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland:
The Consultative Committee on Economic and Trade Co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland submitted a number of proposals on promoting economic and trade co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland to the Chief Executive today (December 11).
Since its establishment in 2013, the Committee has set up three sub-groups to conduct in-depth studies on how to capitalise on the opportunities arising from the economic and social development of the Mainland as well as to facilitate development of Hong Kong enterprises and talents in the Mainland. The Trade Liberalisation and Investment Facilitation Sub-group (the Trade Sub-group) mainly explores co-operation opportunities between Hong Kong and various regions of the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone. The Development of the Mainland Market by the Professional Services Sector Sub-group (the Professional Services Sub-group) examines how to assist Hong Kong professional services sectors to open up the Mainland market and capitalise on the opportunities arising from the country's "Belt and Road" initiative. The Employment and Development Prospects of Youth in the Mainland Sub-group (the Youth Sub-group) examines ways to enable the young people in Hong Kong to seize the employment and development opportunities in the Mainland.
The Committee Chairman, Mr Jack So, said, "The Committee has accomplished its mission and its reports are the results of the three sub-groups' detailed deliberations and research. I am pleased that the Committee has formally submitted the sub-group reports to the Chief Executive today."
He added, "I believe that the Committee's proposals will help strengthen ties in economic and trade affairs as well as professional services between Hong Kong and the Mainland, assist Mainland enterprises to 'go global' via Hong Kong while helping Hong Kong people and enterprises tap into the Mainland market, and deepen economic and trade co-operation between the two places on the basis of mutual benefits. The Committee is particularly eager to ensure that the youths in Hong Kong are aware of the development opportunities available to them as a result of the rapid development of our country. In this connection, the Committee specifically draws up proposals on how to assist the youths in equipping themselves to capitalise on these opportunities."
Specifically, the Committee proposes to set up co-operation zones in the Pilot Free Trade Zone in Nansha, Qianhai and Hengqin which serves to deepen co-operation with both economic and social functions. The Committee suggests to pursue deepened co-operation in a number of industry sectors such as financial services, professional services, logistics, technology and creative industries and to put in place supporting preferential policies in these areas, such as introducing preferential tax rates for corporate income tax and salaries tax, filing administration for Hong Kong professionals who will be providing services in these areas, and allowing the option of using Hong Kong laws to govern commercial contracts involving Hong Kong enterprises set up in these areas. The policies are proposed with a view to attracting Hong Kong people and enterprises to develop at these co-operation zones which would enlarge the hinterland for Hong Kong's development.
On assisting the Hong Kong professional services sector to tap into the Mainland market, the Committee proposes to fully liberalise the Mainland market for Hong Kong's accounting, legal, construction and related engineering sectors and planning service professionals so that the Mainland can draw reference to Hong Kong's international experience in these areas. To capitalise on the opportunities brought about by the country's "Belt and Road" initiative, the Committee proposes that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government strengthen research and dissemination of information relevant to the initiative, suitably promote Hong Kong's strengths to the state-owned and private enterprises in the Mainland and facilitate various Hong Kong industry sectors to partner with the Central Government/large-scale state-owned enterprises to conduct overseas promotion. The Committee also suggests that the HKSAR Government award scholarships to students in countries along the "Belt and Road" with a view to attracting them to pursue studies in related disciplines in Hong Kong.
As for assisting the youths in Hong Kong to seize the development opportunities in the Mainland, the Committee proposes that the HKSAR Government increase the number of internship opportunities offered by the Government under the Funding Scheme for Youth Internship in the Mainland while at the same time raise the level of internship in order to meet the needs of undergraduate students of tertiary institutions and universities for high-end placements. On supporting the youths to start their own businesses, the Committee suggests to strengthen the co-ordination of various support programmes currently operated by different government departments and enhance the Microfinance Scheme launched by the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited. It also considers that the Youth Development Fund should provide funding support to Hong Kong young people starting business in the Mainland. To assist the young people to better grasp the development opportunities in the Mainland, the Committee suggests that the Government stage large-scale job expos offering job opportunities in the Mainland and produce films to introduce development opportunities in the Mainland. The Committee also proposes that information on taking up employment and starting business in the Mainland should be provided to the young people through a one-stop mobile service platform.
For details of the Committee's proposals, please visit the Committee's website (www.mec.gov.hk).
The Committee was set up in 2013 and its term will end on December 31, 2015. Appointed by the Chief Executive, 25 non-official members have extensive knowledge and practical experience in economic and trade co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland. The Committee advises the HKSAR Government on matters related to strengthening co-operation with the Mainland in trade, economic and other relevant areas. Mr So is the Chairman of the Committee while the three sub-groups are headed by Dr Henry Cheng (the Trade Sub-group), Dr Joseph Lee (the Professional Services Sub-group) and Dr Peter Lam (the Youth Sub-group).
Ends/Friday, December 11, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:10
The Consultative Committee on Economic and Trade Co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland submitted a number of proposals on promoting economic and trade co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland to the Chief Executive today (December 11). Picture shows the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Jack So (centre); the Chairman of the Trade Liberalisation and Investment Facilitation Sub-group, Dr Henry Cheng (second left); the Chairman of the Development of the Mainland Market by Professional Services Sub-group, Dr Joseph Lee (first right); and the Chairman of the Employment and Development Prospects of Youth in the Mainland Sub-group, Dr Peter Lam (first left), submitting the proposals to the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung (second right).