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Liaison and co-ordinating meeting of HK, Guangdong and Macao

     The Liaison and Co-ordinating Meeting of Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao in Jointly Taking Forward the Implementation of "The Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta" (the Liaison and Co-ordinating Meeting) held its meeting in Hong Kong today (February 19).  The meeting was jointly chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang; the Vice-Governor of Guangdong Province, Mr Wan Qingliang and the Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao Special Administrative Region, Mr Tam Pak Yuen. The three sides had a thorough discussion on how to implement the co-operation initiatives among Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao under "The Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta (2008-2020)" (the Outline) released by the National Development and Reform Commission in early January. The three sides exchanged views on a number of major co-operation initiatives and reached a number of consensus.

     The Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao Governments welcome the publication of the Outline and attach great importance to it. The Outline re-affirms the major achievements made by the Pearl River Delta Region (PRD Region) in the 30 years of the national reform and opening up and development. It also provides guidance on the long-term development between the PRD Region and Hong Kong/Macao.

     The Chief Secretary for the Administration said that the co-operation outcome of the three sides over the years and planning for future work had laid a solid foundation for the three sides in promoting the implementation of the Outline. This also helps the three sides in taking forward the overall regional development.

     Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao agreed that, under the principle of "One Country Two Systems" and on the basis of implementing the Outline, the three sides would continue discussion on each and every co-operation areas and would study closely the various guidelines relating to the implementation of the Outline. The three Governments will also convene Liaison and Co-ordinating Meeting in a timely manner, so as to discuss the relevant strategies with the other two sides. This will help the three Governments to reaffirm the division of work and the complementarities under the framework of the Outline, generating greater and wider synergies and resulting in win-win situations.

     Hong Kong/Guangdong (HK/GD) and Guangdong/Macao (GD/Macao) have each set up a Liaison and Co-ordinating Group under their respective Co-operation Joint Conference. The Liaison and Co-ordinating Groups are responsible for co-ordinating the work of the relevant expert groups and departments on various co-operation areas of HK/GD and GD/Macao, setting out the strategy and targets for implementation of the Outline, as well as reviewing work progress regularly.  

     At the meeting, the three sides reached consensus on the following four major work priorities:

(1) to set up a liasion and co-ordinating meeting mechanism,

(2) to confirm that the key co-operation areas among Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao would include finance, industries co-operation (key areas include the services industry, tourism, innovation technology etc), infrastructural and town planning, environmental protection, as well as education and training,

(3) to conduct jointly specialised topical studies on regional co-operation, and

(4) to confirm the major co-operation initiatives jointly taken forward by Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao. In particular, there are eight recent major co-operation initiatives, including infrastructural and transport arrangements, enhancing connectivity among the three places, new development regions and cross-boundary areas, restructuring and upgrading of enterprises, finance, innovation technology, promoting co-ordination of regional development and town planning of the three places, tourism and environmental protection.

     Among the above recent major co-operation initiatives, progress of tourism, environmental protection, infrastructural and transport arrangements enhancing connectivity among the three places, and promoting co-ordination of regional development and town planning of the three places are as follows.


     The three sides agreed that the extension of the various tourism measures in allowing more Mainland residents to visit Hong Kong announced at the end of last year (including organising group tours for eligible Shenzhen non-permanent residents to visit Hong Kong, extending the coverage of "simplified entry arrangement for a period of 144 hours" to the entire Guangdong Province, as well as the two pilot measures facilitating Shenzhen residents to visit Hong Kong under the Individual Visit Scheme) will not only facilitate more Mainland and international visitors to visit Hong Kong, but also provide impetus to developing the tourism industry and related sectors of the three places. We will propose to the Central Government that these measures could be further extended to other cities in the Guangdong Province.  

     Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao possess rich and distinctive tourism resources. The three places agreed to further leverage their respective complementary advantages and work together to further develop and promote more "multi-destination" travel itineraries, thereby enhancing the overall tourism appeal of the PRD Region and furthering regional tourism development.

Environmental Protection

     Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao have agreed to closely collaborate in transforming the PRD Region into a green and quality living area by drawing on the respective competitive advantages of the three places. On one hand, Hong Kong can play a facilitating role of bringing in overseas capital investment, as well as transferring management expertise and systems. On the other, Hong Kong can help transfer advanced technologies in areas of energy efficiency, emission reduction, cleaner production and cleaner energy. We will also promote innovative environmental research and seek their integration with the economic development and industrial structure of Hong Kong and Guangdong. At the meeting, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) proposed to foster closer collaboration with Guangdong and Macao in a number of areas, including promoting wider usage and research and development of cleaner and renewable energy; facilitating development of industries in support of circular economy; enhancing cleaner production of enterprises in the region and developing programmes for continuous improvement of regional air quality.    
     The HKSARG expressed the wish to have the further support of the Guangdong Provincial Government in taking forward the initiative, and that it would discuss with the concerned departments in Guangdong on the specifics of the above proposed collaboration areas. The Macao SAR will also participate in the initiative. The meeting agreed to jointly propose to the Central Government to include the notion of transforming the PRD region into a green and quality living area in the National 12th Five-year Plan.

Arrangement in Enhancing Connectivity among the Three Places

     The Governments of Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao have agreed that the three sides can tap even more effectively into the 50 million customer base in the PRD, as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will put the Western Pearl River Delta within an accessible three-hour commuting radius of Hong Kong. The flow of goods and people will be enhanced. At the same time the aviation, maritime and land transport network developments after the commissioning of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will also strengthen Hong Kongˇ¦s connectivity, both rail and road, with the Pearl River Delta and Macao. The accerlated integration with the neighbouring areas will form the foundation for sustainable developments and co-operations among Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao.  

     To maximise the benefits and effectiveness to be brought about by the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the HKSARG is striving for the synchronised commissioning of other related works, such as the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities, Hong Kong Link Road, Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link and Tuen Mun Western Bypass. These will form a strategic road network linking Zhuhai, Macao, Hong Kong and Shenzhen.   

     To enhance the traffic flow of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the HKSARG will liaise with the Governments of Guangdong and Macao in determining the toll levels for the Bridge. As the Bridge is financed by the three Governments and through loans, it is the consensus of the three Governments that the tolls be set at reasonable levels so as to encourage usage.  
     The Hong Kong and Guangdong authorities have agreed in principle that the regulation of cross-boundary vehicles could be relaxed on an incremental basis by introducing ad hoc quotas in addition to the existing quota system to facilitate cross-boundary travel by private cars. An Expert Group has been set up between the two sides to follow-up on the idea and to map out the implementation details, with a view to implementing a Trial Scheme at the Shenzhen Bay Port as soon as possible. The Trial Scheme, if implemented successfully, will pave the way for the full-scale implementation at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.

Promoting Co-ordination in Regional Development and Town Planning of the Three Places

     Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao have agreed to make effective use of joint regional study as a platform to strengthen communication and co-operation on regional development and planning among the three places.  Hong Kong and Guangdong welcome Macaoˇ¦s formal participation in the "Planning Study on the Co-ordinated Development of the Greater Pearl River Delta Townships" (GPRD Study) and the conduct of an Additional Study on Macao under the GPRD Study framework. Macao's participation can better improve the proposals on the overall development strategy, spatial pattern, environmental and resource protection strategy, co-ordination mechanism and the recent work priority. Under the framework of the GPRD Study, the three sides may conduct topical studies on areas including social and economic development strategy and environmental protection, cross-boundary co-ordination and implementation mechanism, spatial framework and development strategy as well as formulation of a regional integrated framework for transport infrastructure so as to lay down a new foundation to further promote continuing collaboration among Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao.

     The three sides also agreed to complement the target of the Outline in further developing higher education in the PRD Region and to train up more talents to support the long-term development of the Greater PRD Region.

     Principal Officials accompanying the Chief Secretary for Administration at the meeting included the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam; the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam; the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau; the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng; and the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau.

Ends/Thursday, February 19, 2009
Issued at HKT 21:53


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