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CE pledges to explore economic areas with high potential (with video) (with photo)

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (April 3) that economic areas where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages will be explored to realise their potential in full.

     "In the previous two meetings of the Task Force on Economic Challenges (TFEC), members have focused on short-term measures to stimulate the economy and preserve jobs," Mr Tsang said after chairing the fourth meeting of TFEC today (April 3).

     "At today's meeting, members have embarked on a more important issue by setting their sights on the long-term competitiveness of Hong Kong and exploring our medium and long-term economic opportunities."

     The TFEC will study how to further develop the following six economic areas:

(1) Testing and certification

     Hong Kong has a robust accreditation system in place. With the high reputation of the local testing and certification industry as well as a vast Mainland market, Hong Kong is well positioned to compete with international testing and certification brands.

(2) Medical services

     Hong Kong's excellent healthcare personnel and medical equipment, advanced medical technology and well-regulated Chinese medicine sector would attract people from the peripheral areas to use medical services in Hong Kong. The Government will continue to provide land for the development of private hospitals and encourage co-operation between public and private medical institutions.

(3) Innovation and technology

     Hong Kong has good hardware and software as well as a sound legal system for applied research and development (R&D) to flourish. Hong Kong can also make good use of the advantage of the Pearl River Delta region in manufacturing and the vast Mainland market to achieve economies of scale for R&D products.
(4) Cultural and creative industries

     With its East-meets-West culture, Hong Kong has a large pool of creative talent and a robust intellectual property protection regime for creative work. The Mainland will serve as a vast market for such work. Hong Kong has already made good progress in industries such as design, film and digital entertainment.

(5) Environmental industry

     Local enterprises have rich experience in pollution prevention and control, and are adept at commercialising environmental technologies. The dedication of the Mainland in tackling environmental problems in recent years provides substantial business opportunities for the environmental technologies in Hong Kong.

(6) Educational services

     Hong Kong provides a biliterate and trilingual environment as well as an internationally recognised curriculum. Together with the heavy investment in tertiary education, research funding and academic facilities on a par with international standards, and the keen demand for local tertiary education by Mainland students, there is ample room for the development of the education industry in Hong Kong.

     The Chief Executive noted that with the change in the global economic environment and the increased integration with the Mainland, there is a need to ascertain whether these economic areas would present new opportunities and what the Government could do to help them take off.

     To take the matter forward, the Central Policy Unit will arrange a series of focus group discussions with the participation of relevant stakeholders including trade representatives, academia, researchers, TFEC members and Government officials, and will report the outcome to the TFEC at its next meeting.

     "The global economic situation is still severe. We will closely monitor the situation and consider introducing more measures if necessary to help people weather the economic difficulties," Mr Tsang said.

Ends/Friday, April 3, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:31


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