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Second Plenary Session of HK-Beijing Economic and Trade Co-operation Conference

The Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mr Donald Tsang, and the Mayor of Beijing, Mr Wang Qishan, co-chaired the Second Plenary Session of the Hong Kong-Beijing Economic and Trade Co-operation Conference at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre today (November 15).

Mr Donald Tsang and Mayor Wang shared the view that since the First Plenary Session held in September 2004, Hong Kong and Beijing have been maintaining close exchanges with fruitful results in seven areas, namely Olympics economy, economic and trade, professional exchanges, education, culture, tourism and environmental protection. Both sides agreed to enhance co-operation in four areas comprising the 2008 Olympic Games, further implementation of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), financial services, and innovation, technology as well as creative and cultural industries.

2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and Equestrian Events in Hong Kong

The two sides will step up co-operation in three areas. The first one is co-ordination of respective publicity campaigns. On overseas publicity, Beijing Tourism Administration and Hong Kong Tourism Board will sign a framework agreement tomorrow to promote multi-destination Olympic itineraries in major markets to attract visitors to Hong Kong and Beijing to attend Olympic events. In Hong Kong, the Equestrian Committee will formulate a two-year publicity plan to launch a series of cultural, educational and community participation activities centred on the Olympics.

Second, on recruiting volunteers, the Equestrian Company will announce later this month the details on the recruitment of volunteers in Hong Kong to assist in the Equestrian Events. The HKSAR Government will also give full support to the online global volunteer recruitment exercise to be launched in March 2007 by the Beijing Organising Committee for the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) and will encourage participation by Hong Kong citizens.

Third, so far the Olympics have already created business opportunities to both Hong Kong and Beijing in various Olympic-related services, including legal, financial, construction design and consultancy services. Looking ahead, the Olympic Games will also bring business opportunities to Hong Kong enterprises in areas including Olympic-related logistics, food and beverage, retailing, souvenir sale and tourism. The BOCOG and the Olympic Committee of Hong Kong signed the Joint Marketing Programme Agreement on October 24 this year to provide a platform for Hong Kong enterprises to participate in sponsorship and licensing programmes in the Beijing Olympics. At present, more than ten Hong Kong enterprises have participated in the programmes to produce products and provide retail services. Hong Kong and Beijing will continue to promote information exchange on Olympic-related business opportunities.

Financial Services

To promote further financial co-operation, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Beijing will jointly organise a forum on financial services co-operation under CEPA in Hong Kong tomorrow. The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury also plans to lead a delegation of financial representatives to Beijing in the first half of 2007. The aim is to provide an opportunity for representatives of financial enterprises and institutional investors to promote the investment and capital-raising services available in Hong Kong and to explore business collaboration opportunities. Besides, the Investment Promotion Unit of the Beijing Office of the HKSARG (Beijing office), set up by Invest Hong Kong in June this year, will continue to encourage Beijing enterprises to invest in Hong Kong with a view to accessing the international market.

Enhancing Implementation of CEPA

Beijing has already established the "green lane" and "CEPA Service Window" to provide one-stop service to further facilitate the implementation of CEPA and related measures. The two sides will continue to work together in streamlining measures to further facilitate the implementation of CEPA in order to make it more convenient for Hong Kong enterprises to start business in Beijing.

Co-operation in innovation, technology, as well as creative and cultural industries

Co-operation in the areas of science and technology, intellectual property as well as creative and cultural industries will help increase the competitiveness of both sides in the face of challenges posed by globalisation. On applied research, the two sides will encourage research institutes in both places to collaborate on research and development projects. The Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission have already signed an agreement and are now looking at concrete items for co-operation in applied technology.

On creative/cultural industries, co-operation projects include two seminars on creative and fashion industries held during the 10th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium co-organised by the Beijing Municipal Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC). The TDC also plans to organise the "Style in Hong Kong" in Beijing in June 2007 to promote nine major creative industries in Hong Kong and local brands of Hong Kong.

Other areas of co-operation

During the meeting, the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, and Vice Mayor of Beijing, Mr Lu Hao, reported on the progress of work since the First Plenary Session held in September 2004. Details are at Annex.

Besides, the HKSAR Government has made arrangements for Mayor Wang and his delegation to visit various public services facilities in Hong Kong in the past two days, including the Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre, the Emergency Monitoring and Support Centre, a pilot desalination plant and the MTR Corporation Limited. Experts of both sides used the opportunity to exchange experiences in areas including traffic management and environmental protection.

The Second Plenary Session

The Second Plenary of the Hong Kong-Beijing Economic and Trade Co-operation Conference was co-chaired by the executive heads of the governments of HKSAR and Beijing. On the Beijing side, the Mayor of Beijing, Mr Wang Qishan; Vice Mayor of Beijing, Mr Lu Hao; BOCOG Executive Vice-President and Secretary-General, Mr Wang Wei; and representatives of various departments of the Beijing Municipal Government participated in the meeting. Principle officials of the HKSAR attending the meeting included the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang; Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho; Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Frederick Ma; and Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam.

The Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Ms Guo Li, also attended the meeting as a special guest.

Ends/Wednesday, November 15, 2006