Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article Government Homepage
Economic Summit Focus Groups submit reports and action agenda to CE (with video)

    After four months of intensive work, the four Focus Groups of the Economic Summit on "China's 11th Five-Year Plan and the Development of Hong Kong" today (January 15) submitted their reports and their proposed Action Agenda to the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang. The four Focus Groups of Trade and Business; Financial Services; Maritime, Logistics and Infrastructure; and Professional Services, Information & Technology and Tourism were formed upon invitation of the Chief Executive at the Economic Summit meeting on September 11, 2006.

     The Chief Executive expressed his gratitude to focus group members and their sub-groups.  He was impressed by the excellent work of the focus groups in consolidating the wisdom of a wide spectrum of the community in developing their strategies and Action Agenda.

     The proposed Action Agenda was strategic, specific and practical in providing an important reference for our future direction of economic development, he said.

     The Chief Executive was pleased to note that through the Economic Summit and the work of the focus groups, a community-wide consensus had been formed on the economic strategic positioning of Hong Kong.

     Mr Tsang called for concerted efforts from the Government, the business sector, and the community at large to work together to bring Hong Kong and the Mainland to greater heights.

     Mr Tsang reaffirmed his commitment to follow up the Action Agenda promptly and resolutely in three aspects. He would instruct relevant policy secretaries to study the action items in detail with priority given to those proposed items to be launched in the first-half of 2007 and those requiring liaison with Mainland authorities.  He would refer the entire Action Agenda to the next term of the Government as an important reference to its economic strategy. He would also refer the focus group reports and the Action Agenda to the Central Authorities for reference.  

     Reviewing the work of the focus groups, the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, highlighted that the National 11th Five-Year Plan unequivocally supported Hong Kong in the development of its services industries such as financial services, logistics, tourism and information services; and the maintenance of Hong Kong's status as an international financial, trade, and maritime centre.

     "While the 11th Five-Year Plan opens up immense development opportunity for Hong Kong, we should not overlook the challenges we face. The work of the four focus groups is very timely in providing strategic and yet concrete recommendations in response to these opportunities and challenges," Mr Tang said.
     He commended the remarkable results of the focus groups in producing the four sector-specific forward-looking reports. Fifty strategic proposals and 207 action items are proposed by the four focus groups. They have been prepared after a series of community engagement and tapping market view exercises and careful deliberations among members of the focus groups and their sub-groups.

     Convenor of the Focus Group on Trade and Business, Dr Victor Fung, said : "We should strive to enhance Hong Kong's status as an international trade and business centre and strengthen our international competitiveness."

     A total of 14 strategic proposals and 34 action items were proposed by the focus group, covering five major areas. First, to build up a "Brand Hong Kong" culture to symbolise high quality, international and cutting-edge products and services. Second, to optimise the potential and benefits under CEPA. Third, to assist Hong Kong-owned factories in Guangdong to upgrade their products and technology, in coping with more stringent environmental standards and keen market competition in the Mainland. Fourth, to raise the quality of Hong Kong's human capital by attracting and nurturing talents. Fifth, to set up a high-level mechanism to address the air quality issue.

     On the Focus Group on Financial Services, Convenor Dr David Li, said: "With the rapid development of the Mainland economy, we believe that there is a great urgency for China to develop an international financial centre of global significance within its own borders." He emphasised that the window of opportunity will not last forever.  

     He added that "Hong Kong has the infrastructure, the transparent legal and regulatory environment, and the market depth to contribute in these areas for the benefit of the entire Mainland economy."

     Six key strategic proposals and 80 action items are proposed to further the policy direction. From a macro perspective, these include : to build a complementary, cooperative and interactive working relationship between the two financial systems in Hong Kong and the Mainland under "One Country, Two Systems"; to enable HKSAR to make greater contribution to financial intermediation on the Mainland; to leverage on the Mainland's large and increasing international financial activities to promote Hong Kong as an international financial centre of global significance for the country.  

     From a micro perspective, the specific recommendations to strengthen Hong Kong's securities market, RMB futures and options market, commodities futures market, and insurance, reinsurance and asset management sectors, in terms of demand, supply, price discovery, and market infrastructure, include :

* on securities market : to facilitate capital formation for Mainland enterprises, to further facilitate overseas quality issuers to list in Hong Kong, to establish a more flexible regulatory and operation infrastructure to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the market;
* on RMB futures and options market : to expand the range of non-deliverable RMB products, and to consolidate HK's lead in offshore RMB trading;
* on commodities market : to conduct an independent consultancy study with a view to making concrete proposals for developing the commodity futures market; and
* on insurance and asset management : to liaise with the Mainland with a view to enabling Hong Kong's insurance institutions to contribute more to meeting the Mainland's needs, to promote the development of international captive insurance market in Hong Kong, to further the training and qualification of practitioners, and to foster the further development of asset management.

     Convenor of the Focus Group on Maritime, Logistics and Infrastructure, Mr C. C. Tung, highlighted the policy direction for logistics, maritime and air transport services, saying Hong Kong should leverage on its air transport, shipping and high-value logistics experience in strengthening its status as an international maritime centre, and air transport and logistics hub.

     While noting the intense competition from neighbouring areas, in particular on port-related logistics services, the focus group considered that the policy direction would both provide the growth impetus for the local economy as well as complement the country's economic development.

     The focus group, after consultation with relevant industries and academics, proposed an action agenda with nine key strategies and 27 specific action items. They include specific measures to strengthen Hong Kong's competitive edge in providing high-value supply chain logistics services and to enhance the cost-effectiveness of cross-boundary freight transport; to strengthen the maritime industry and Hong Kong's position as an international and regional aviation hub, in particular, improvement in the use and management of airspace and to increase the airport capacity.

     On cross-boundary transport infrastructure, the group also proposed to establish a high-level co-ordination mechanism to formulate a comprehensive strategy; to adopt a forward-looking perspective in cross-boundary transport development; and explore more direct and convenient links between Hong Kong and major Mainland cities and airports.

     Convenor of the Focus Group on Professional Services, Information & Technology and Tourism, Mr C. Y. Leung, emphasised that "development of our professional services, information and technology, and tourism sectors complements Hong Kong's status as international financial services, trade and shipping centres". These services play a unique role as an international gateway to the Mainland and contribute to the national economic and social development.

     After a series of consultation with the industries, professionals and relevant institutes, the focus group recommends 21 strategic proposals and 66 specific action items in its report.

     The focus group adopts a sector-specific approach in recommending action items in respect of four professions - legal, accountancy, medical, and construction and related engineering.  Major recommendations include measures to make the best use of the CEPA framework, promote Hong Kong's professional services on the Mainland, strengthen Hong Kong's professional link and participation in the international professional area and promote knowledge transfer.

     On innovation, technology and information services, the focus group considers that Hong Kong should participate proactively in the development and formulation of product standards on the Mainland, to co-operate with Shenzhen on the setting up of the "Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Circle", to facilitate Hong Kong's development as a key data centre, to explore the possibility of providing quality and reliable e-commerce and digital content transmission broadband network services on a business-to-business basis across the boundary.

     On tourism, the focus group recommends a series of measures to enhance connection with the Mainland, further co-operate with the Mainland in promoting multi-destination itineraries, promoting exchange of talent with the Mainland to enhance service quality.

     As the work of the Economic Summit had been successfully completed, the term of office of the four focus groups had also ended with the formal submission of their Reports and the Action Agenda.

Ends/Monday, January 15, 2007
Issued at HKT 19:25


Print this page