Press Releases

First joint meeting between ECCPC and THEC held

     The Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council (ECCPC) and the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council (THEC) held their first joint meeting in Taipei today (August 30). The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Charles Lee Yeh-kwong, ECCPC Chairperson, and Mr Lin Chen Kuo, THEC Chairman. The meeting began with speeches made by honoured guests Mr John C Tsang, ECCPC Honorary Chairperson, and Dr Lai Shin-yuan, head of the Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council. Both the ECCPC and THEC will actively communicate under the principle of mutual benefit and collaboration, and will study and discuss practical matters of concern to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

     At the joint meeting today, both sides expressed their common wish to enhance mutual understanding through the new ECCPC/THEC platform, and to mutually participate in and promote bilateral exchanges and co-operation on trade and commerce, investment, finance, culture, transportation, technology, education and other related matters. Both sides will endeavour to support and assist the relevant authorities to handle proactively matters arising from economic, trade and cultural exchanges.

     After discussion, the ECCPC and THEC reached the following key consensus on promoting future co-operation and exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan:

(1) Both sides agree to establish and maintain a long-term friendly partnership and will take turns to organise regular joint meetings and other exchange activities. Depending on operational needs, both sides can appoint representatives to study and discuss relevant topics at the technical level;

(2) In the light of globalisation and an increasingly competitive environment, both sides are of the view that the economies of Hong Kong and Taiwan are facing rapidly changing circumstances in global financial and economic development. Both places should strengthen exchanges and co-operation on trade, finance, investment promotion and other economic areas, so that we can collaborate in facing future challenges;

(3) Both sides affirm the efforts and effectiveness of both Hong Kong and Taiwan in promoting tourism co-operation and a number of entry and exit facilitation measures that aim to promote travelling between the two places. Both sides support the two places to continue to explore other measures that will facilitate travelling and exchanges between the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan, enhance the transportation services between the two places, and proactively develop and promote tourism services. To strengthen promotion of tourism exchanges between the two places, both sides welcome the establishment of an office in Taipei by the Hong Kong Tourism Board;

(4) Both sides support enhancing exchanges, communication and collaboration on education, creative industries and arts and culture.

     To achieve the consensus reached at the joint meeting as soon as possible, the ECCPC agreed that both sides could adopt a pragmatic principle and support the two places to proactively pursue the following concrete measures:

(1) Proactively explore opportunities in trade and economic co-operation, as well as avoidance of double taxation issues;

(2) Strengthen co-operation on banking regulation, and actively study co-operation on other finance and regulation areas;

(3) Both places should update the air transport arrangements between Hong Kong and Taiwan as quickly as possible and enhance co-operation in shipping;

(4) Jointly develop and promote tourism products such as "single journey with multi destinations", and encourage cruise companies to develop cruise tours between Hong Kong and Taiwan;

(5) Further enhance management and co-operation on medical, health and food safety issues that concern the well being of the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

     At the meeting, both sides discussed the setting up of a multi-functional office and enhancing the functions of existing organisations.

     The ECCPC and THEC joint meeting is an important milestone in the formalisation of the communication and liaison mechanism between Hong Kong and Taiwan. Both sides will continue to engage in dialogue with sincerity and friendliness, and work together in promoting sustained positive interaction between Hong Kong and Taiwan with a view to establishing a win-win situation for both places.

     Both sides agreed to convene the second joint meeting in Hong Kong next year and to continue to jointly pursue the various priority co-operation areas.

Ends/Monday, August 30, 2010