Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article Government Homepage
Budget Speech by the Financial Secretary (4)

Developing Trade and Logistics

27. Hong Kong is the world's freest economy.  It is also a major international trading centre and a logistics hub.  Trade, logistics and related sectors employ one quarter of our working population, with a direct contribution to GDP of 29 per cent.

28. On the trade front, Hong Kong will continue to play an active role in the World Trade Organization to improve multilateral trade rules and systems.  We will, at the same time, keep up our efforts in seeking to enter into more free trade agreements with our trading partners.

29. To enhance the competitiveness of our logistics industry, we need to provide a seamless system for cargo movements and customs clearance.  We will construct an electronic advance cargo information system and implement the On-Board Trucker Information System on a trial basis, with the aim of raising the operational efficiency of the trucking industry.  To better equip our logistics practitioners, we will work with the Hong Kong Productivity Council to organise training programmes to help them master job-related information and automation technologies.  In addition, the Economic Development and Labour Bureau will continue discussion with the industry on further ways to enhance its competitiveness.

30. As for air transport, passenger and air cargo throughput reached new highs last year, with 44.5 million travellers passing through the airport and 3.58 million tonnes of air cargo handled.  To consolidate Hong Kong's position as an aviation hub, our airport must continuously enhance its efficiency, extend the aviation network and expand its passenger and cargo handling capacities.  To facilitate the long-term development of the civil aviation industry, we will earmark about $3.1 billion to replace the existing air traffic control system and build a new headquarters for the Civil Aviation Department on the Airport Island.  In addition, the Civil Aviation Department will enhance existing flight procedures and air traffic control technology and work in collaboration with the aviation industry and the Airport Authority to increase runway capacity further.  The Department will also continue discussion with the aviation authorities of the Mainland and Macao on ways to optimise airspace design in the region and open up additional air routes.  The Authority is now inviting tenders for an additional cargo terminal and assessing the need for a third runway.

Promoting Tourism

31. The tourism industry brings in significant revenue and provides abundant employment opportunities.

32. We are well-positioned to enhance our cosmopolitan tourism profile further.  While visitors from all around the world come to Hong Kong for business or to attend conventions and exhibitions, many are here for shopping, dining, as well as cultural and leisure activities that are a fusion of East and West.  This demonstrates the charisma of Hong Kong as a fashionable and cosmopolitan city.

33. The Government will continue to support the build-out of our tourism infrastructure and develop new attractions in order to increase our appeal to visitors.  Following the opening of the Hong Kong Wetland Park and Ngong Ping 360 and the completion of new attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland, the redevelopment of Ocean Park started late last year.  By the end of this year, we also plan to invite tenders for a new cruise terminal to be situated at Kai Tak.  It is expected that the first berth will be completed in 2012.  In addition, we will promote green tourism in line with the principles of conservation and sustainable development, so that more visitors can enjoy Hong Kong's natural beauty.

34. The Mainland is our biggest source market for visitors.  There are now 49 Mainland cities covered by the Individual Visit Scheme, under which about 260 million people can visit Hong Kong.  In support of the "honest and quality tourism" policy of the Mainland, the Hong Kong Tourism Board will focus its efforts in these cities on promoting Hong Kong's quality tourism services, consumer protection and consumer rights.  Separately, the Consumer Council will, in conjunction with the tourism industry, provide additional shopping information and assistance to Mainland visitors.

35. To boost the confidence of tourists and citizens in shopping in Hong Kong, the Consumer Council will review existing measures to protect consumer rights, including ways to improve the relevant legislation to combat misleading and undesirable sales practices.

(To be continued)

Ends/Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Issued at HKT 11:26


Print this page