|SCA: Much importance attached to Pan-Pearl River Delta cooperation
The Hong Kong Government attaches great importance to taking forward the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) regional cooperation, the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, said today (April 22).
Mr Lam, speaking at the directors' meeting of the PPRD Development and Reform Commissions, said the Government would seek to enhance understanding of the development of the PPRD provinces/regions with a view to strengthening cooperation.
He hoped that Hong Kong would contribute to the success of this cooperation, adding that there were three key tasks to accomplish in this regard:
First, Hong Kong had to maintain and strengthen its status as an international transport hub and maritime centre by improving infrastructure networks with other places in the PPRD. He said Hong Kong will step up its efforts in taking forward the Hong Kong - Zhuhai - Macao Bridge project and the alignment of the express rail link between Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
Second, Hong Kong will encourage enterprises in the PPRD region to set up branch offices and to list in Hong Kong, with a view to promoting our financial services and our status as an international financial centre.
Third, in accordance with Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), Hong Kong will progressively enhance our provision of professional services in the Mainland, especially in the "9+2" region which comprises nine provinces and the two special administrative regions(SARs).
"To enhance our understanding of the development of the PPRD region, the government has launched a series of visits to various PPRD provinces/regions in the past few months. By doing so, we are also strengthening ties and paving the way for closer cooperation in the future," Mr Lam said.
With unfailing and proactive efforts of PPRD provinces/regions, there has already been substantial progress in regional cooperation, following the conclusion of the "PPRD Regional Cooperation Framework Agreement" last June. As concrete measures are rolled out, the prospect of cooperation among provinces/regions in the "9+2" area is promising.
Hong Kong would continue to build on its success as an international hub for finance, trade, information technology, maritime industry, air freight, logistics, tourism, convention and professional services, to further explore the market of high-value-added services in the PPRD region. Hong Kong can assist in introducing PPRD enterprises to the world. It can also act as an intermediary for PPRD business partners and serve as their link with international enterprises.
The PPRD region comprises nine Mainland provinces/regions - Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan - and Hong Kong and Macao SARs. At the invitation of the HKSAR Government, representatives from the PPRD General Co-ordination Offices of the nine provinces/regions and Macao SAR embarked on a six-day visit to Hong Kong. The visit will conclude tomorrow (April 23).
The visit, which aims to foster mutual understanding among PPRD partners, has been organised by the Constitutional Affairs Bureau with assistance from the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office.
The delegation met representatives of a number of government bureaux, departments and organisations to strengthen ties and prepare for future cooperation. They also visited various maritime, air freight and infrastructural facilities to enhance their understanding of Hong Kong.
Ends/Friday, April 22, 2005