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Government assists business community in exploring business opportunities in PPRD (with photo and video)

    The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, said that in the coming year, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will continue to step up its efforts to facilitate the business community in exploring business opportunities in the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region.

     Delivering a statement at the Fourth PPRD Regional Co-operation and Development Forum in Hunan Province, Mr Tsang said that, "Since its establishment 10 years ago, the HKSAR Government has strengthened collaboration with the motherland through initiatives such as the PPRD regional co-operation.

     "In the year ahead, we will continue to capitalise on our niche in financial services to facilitate PPRD enterprises to raise capital and go global through Hong Kong.

     "In addition, as a follow up to this year's PPRD Forum, the HKSAR Government will take forward specific initiatives to enhance information exchange between the relevant sectors in Hong Kong and the PPRD provinces and regions, in order to facilitate industrial upgrading, restructuring and relocation."

     The HKSAR Government will establish systematically an information exchange platform.  The platform, building on the PPRD cooperation, aims to address the needs of the relevant sectors in Hong Kong.

     Mr Tsang said that the key objective was to reflect the needs of Hong Kong investors from different sectors to the PPRD provincial and regional authorities, so that the latter's trade and investment promotion policies and measures could target specifically at such needs.

     He said, "The HKSAR Government will also consolidate information on investment opportunities in the PPRD provinces and regions for dissemination to the business community in Hong Kong.  We will also assist them in stepping up communication with the local governments. We are considering to organise a seminar later in Hong Kong, for our relevant sectors, Mainland provinces /cities and the HKSAR Government to exchange views on industrial upgrading, restructuring and relocation." He said that the HKSAR Government would discuss with PPRD provinces /regions and the local business community after the Fourth Forum, with a view to working out detailed action plans.

     Looking back, Mr Tsang said that in the past year the HKSAR had taken forward a lot of initiatives in the PPRD to facilitate our private sector to explore business opportunities in the region.

     He said, "Since June last year, I have led business delegations to Guangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Jiangxi. We have attained concrete progress.

     "Results of a survey conducted after the visits show that around 90 per cent of the respondents consider that the visits helped enhance their understanding on local investment environment. And around 60 per cent opined that the visits have been useful for them to identify business partners and to gain first-hand knowledge of the local markets.

     "We have also seen tangible results.  For example, within six months after the Guangxi visit, half of the respondents have visited Guangxi again, and 20% have commenced discussion with Guangxi enterprises on co-operation projects. In addition, following a seminar in Guangxi which promoted the co-operation of the two places in tourism training, the tourism training authorities in Guizhou sent representatives to Hong Kong to study the tourism training offered in Hong Kong and discuss possible co-operation with our institutes on manpower training."

     In addition, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury led a financial services delegation to visit Hunan Province in September 2006, during which financial services organisations of Hong Kong and Hunan signed a number of agreements to strengthen exchanges and co-operation between them.

     HKSAR also organised the "PPRD Customs Trade Facilitation Forum cum Regional Customs Commissioners Joint Conference" in mid-May this year, during which the customs authorities of PPRD region, Hong Kong and Macao signed a letter of intent on eight co-operation items, to promote customs trade facilitation as well as economic development in the PPRD region.

     To further enhance links with the PPRD provinces /region, the HKSAR Government established an Economic and Trade Office in Chengdu in September 2006. The Office will focus on promoting our cooperation with Sichuan, Hunan, Yunnan and Guizhou. Together with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong which had expanded its geographical coverage to cover the remaining five PPRD provinces/regions since April 2006, the two offices will visit relevant provinces regularly to enhance liaison and communication between Hong Kong and the PPRD region.

     The Fourth Forum is being held from June 8 to 12, 2007, in Changsha, Hunan. The HKSAR Government delegation led by the Chief Executive comprises 38 members including a number of senior officials, such as the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam; the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr Joseph Wong; and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Frederick Ma.

     Mr Tsang attended the opening ceremony of the Fourth Forum and PPRD Regional Co-operation Trade Fair on June 8. He attended a PPRD Leaders' Forum on June 9, during which he spoke on Hong Kong's role in promoting financial co-operation and industrial upgrading, restructuring and relocation.

     He took part in a dialogue between "9+2" leaders and officials from ministries of commerce of ASEAN countries today. He also attended the PPRD leaders' conference, during which he discussed with PPRD leaders issues related to future regional co-operation plans and major initiatives.

     During the Forum, the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau organised an economic and trade delegation to join the Fourth PPRD Regional Co-operation Trade Fair to be held from June 9 to 12 in Changsha. A senior official from the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau spoke at the PPRD Regional Financial Co-operation Forum yesterday. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited also took part at the event to promote Hong Kong as an effective platform for raising international funds. In addition, Hong Kong also participated in the Fourth PPRD Provincial Mayors' Forum.

Ends/Sunday, June 10, 2007
Issued at HKT 19:05


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