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Chief Executive urges students to keep improving (with photos)

    The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, today (September 20) called on students to continue to improve themselves in the face of opportunities and challenges arising from the Mainland's 11th Five-Year Plan.

     Mr Tsang met about 2,000 secondary school students to learn about their experiences in getting to know the Mainland following their participation in the many national education activities organised by the Education and Manpower Bureau.

     He told the students that the Government was working closely with different sectors in the community on how Hong Kong should position itself in the course of the Mainland's economic development and to map out relevant strategies.

     "I believe all of you are aware that the 11th Five-Year Plan sees an expected annual increase of 7.5% in the Mainland's Gross Domestic Product (GDP)," Mr Tsang said. "The Five-Year Plan gives due emphasis to Hong Kong's advantages in complementing the Mainland's further development. It also spells out clearly the Mainland's support for Hong Kong's advancement in finance, logistics, tourism and telecommunications services as well as maintaining Hong Kong's edge as an international finance, trade and shipping centre."

     Mr Tsang said he was very impressed by the rapid development of some Mainland cities he had visited earlier in the year. "The development in these cities, no matter how close to or far away they are from Hong Kong, has a direct bearing on us and presents us with both challenges and unlimited opportunities."

     "I hope our students, who are the future of Hong Kong, will realise that Hong Kong's professionals are set to not only serve the seven million local residents. The size of our clientele could be as many as 1.3 billion and it is imperative that we have a good understanding of them."

     On educating Hong Kong's younger generation about the Mainland, Mr Tsang said that since the reunification, the Government had spared no effort to promote national education among students and boost their sense of national identity.

     "Focusing on the three important aspects of recognition, passion and implementation, our many national education initiatives have been blended into formal school curriculum and supported by a wide variety of activities ranging from competitions and sharing sessions to courses aimed at letting our students see for themselves the latest developments on the Mainland."

     Mr Tsang also answered questions from students on a variety of topics including whether or not Hong Kong would be marginalised, and top Mainland students coming to Hong Kong to pursue their studies. He talked about his expectations of the city's next generation and encouraged youngsters to do their best in good preparation for the many challenges to come.

     During the dialogue session, students were shown photos taken during the Chief Executive's latest visits to Mainland cities including Shanghai as well as Lijiang and Shuhe in Yunnan Province.

     Also in dialogue with students today was Executive Councillor Mr Henry Fan who shared with participants what "One Country Two Systems" meant for Hong Kong's younger generation.

     Today's event was held at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai with other guests including Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mrs Fanny Law, and Deputy Secretary, Mrs Betty Ip.

Ends/Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Issued at HKT 17:23


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