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CE chairs consultation session on development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area

     The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, today (June 14) chaired a consultation session at the Central Government Offices to further gauge views from different sectors of the community on the development plan for a city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. Over 80 people attended the consultation session including non-official members of the Executive Council; members of the Commission on Strategic Development and the Economic Development Commission; representatives from the industrial and business, financial, professional services sectors and youth bodies; think-tank representatives; members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Hong Kong region; and Guangdong Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Standing Committee Hong Kong Members.

     In the consultation session, the Chief Executive and attendees had thorough exchanges on issues relating to the development of the Bay Area. Attendees put forth concrete suggestions particularly on the positioning of Hong Kong in the Bay Area; how Hong Kong could make use of innovation in institutions and mechanisms to foster the flow of people, goods, capital and information within the Bay Area; and how Hong Kong could leverage its unique advantages in various co-operation areas to develop and "go global" with other cities in the Bay Area in a co-ordinated manner.

     The Chief Executive said in the consultation session that in the development of the Bay Area, Hong Kong should leverage its unique positioning as set out in the Dedicated Chapter on Hong Kong and Macao of the Outline of the National 13th Five-Year Plan, with a view to creating new competitive advantages, "going global" with other cities in the Bay Area to expand internationally and complement the country's Belt and Road Initiative through acting as a two-way open platform. As an international financial, transportation and trade centre, Hong Kong has the advantages of being highly open and internationalised, and thus could act as the "super-connector" to connect Mainland cities in the Bay Area with the international community, he added.

     The Chief Executive emphasised that as long as prompt action is taken to take early advantage of the synergy realised between Hong Kong and the city cluster in the Bay Area, the new impetus driving Hong Kong's future development would be no less than that achieved during the Mainland's reform and opening up 30 to 40 years ago.

     He said that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has been, in accordance with the principle of "one country, two systems", taking forward the work to draw up the Bay Area development plan jointly with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), as well as the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Macao SAR Government. Preliminary consensus has been reached on the framework and principles of the key areas in respect of the development plan. One key area is to compare the advantages of the various cities in the Bay Area in the planning process, with a view to achieving mutual benefits through co-ordinated and complementary development to foster co-operation.

     The Chief Executive said that as the development plan of the Bay Area would be beneficial to Hong Kong's future development, the HKSAR Government would handle the matter in accordance with the principle of "one country, two systems" and high degree of autonomy as provided in the Basic Law, and also gauge the views of Hong Kong society in the process, with a view to reflecting such opinions in the development plan. It is believed that the progress achieved thus far by the current-term Government together with the NDRC, the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Macao SAR Government, as well as the opinions collected from different sectors in society, would lay a foundation for the new-term Government to continue to further take forward the planning work, he said.

     In the Report on the Work of the Government made in March 2017, Premier Li Keqiang explicitly expressed the need to promote closer co-operation between the Mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, and to draw up a development plan for a city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. Subsequently, the NDRC formally commenced work on drawing up the plan on the Bay Area, with the Guangdong Provincial Government, the HKSAR Government and the Macao SAR Government participating in the process. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area includes Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, as well as Guangzhou Municipality, Shenzhen Municipality, Zhuhai Municipality, Foshan Municipality, Huizhou Municipality, Dongguan Municipality, Zhongshan Municipality, Jiangmen Municipality and Zhaoqing Municipality in Guangdong Province.

Ends/Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:21