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A Dedicated Chapter on Hong Kong and Macao in the National 13th Five-Year Plan

     The "Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China" (the 13-5 Plan) was promulgated officially today (March 17).  A chapter is again dedicated to Hong Kong and Macao (the Dedicated Chapter), which acknowledges the significant functions and positioning of Hong Kong in the overall development of the country, as well as the scope and opportunities for development in a number of key areas.

     The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung said, "The 13-5 Plan is the blueprint and action agenda for the social and economic development of the country in the next five years.  The Dedicated Chapter signifies the strong support of the Central Authorities for maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.  It also enables Hong Kong to consolidate and enhance our strengths by taking advantage of the 'one country, two systems' principle and complement the overall development of the country."

     The Dedicated Chapter expresses clear support for Hong Kong in leveraging our unique advantages to enhance our role and functions in the country's economic development and opening up to other countries, bearing iconic significance to the overall development of Hong Kong.  The Dedicated Chapter expresses support for Hong Kong and Macao in enhancing economic competitiveness, including supporting Hong Kong in consolidating and enhancing our status as international financial, transportation and trade centres, strengthening our status as a global offshore Renminbi business hub and an international asset management centre, and promoting financing services, business and commerce, logistics and professional services, etc. towards high-end and high value-added developments.  The relevant statements will help Hong Kong further consolidate and enhance established industries which Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages.  The Dedicated Chapter also expresses support for Hong Kong in developing the innovation and technology industry, nurturing emerging industries as well as establishing itself as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, fostering and providing new opportunities for Hong Kong's development in these two areas.

     The Dedicated Chapter emphasises deepening co-operation between the Mainland and Hong Kong/Macao, supporting Hong Kong in participating in the country's two-way opening up and in the Belt and Road Initiative.  Hong Kong will ride on this opportunity to explore new markets in the international arena.  The Dedicated Chapter also provides an opportunity for Hong Kong to deepen exchanges and co-operation with the Mainland in various areas, and expresses support in expediting development of co-operation platforms among Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao such as Qianhai, Nansha and Hengqin as well as support for Hong Kong and Macao to play an important role in the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region co-operation and the development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area, with a view to opening up more opportunities for co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland.

     A government spokesman said the Dedicated Chapter had not only reaffirmed the strong support of the Central Authorities for Hong Kong in maintaining long-term prosperity and stability, but also provided a solid foundation and sound platform for further enhancing co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland.  The Steering Committee on Co-operation with the Mainland, chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration, would continue to co-ordinate various policy bureaux and departments in formulating policies and measures based on the 13-5 Plan under the "one country, two systems" principle.  Meanwhile, relevant policy bureaux and departments would continue to engage their stakeholders and take forward the relevant work proactively.

     The government spokesman added that, "In line with the policy of 'what the country needs, what Hong Kong is good at', the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government would continue to fully demonstrate its role as the 'super-connector' for the country and implement the various policy initiatives that are related to Hong Kong to ensure that Hong Kong would firmly grasp these new opportunities in the coming five years."

Ends/Thursday, March 17, 2016
Issued at HKT 22:33