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SCMA speaks to media in Nanning (with photos/video)

     Following is the transcript of the media session held today (June 11) by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after attending the Fifth Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation and Development in Nanning, Guangxi:

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: This is the Fifth Pan-Pearl River Delta Co-operation Forum. In the course of the last five years, we have made substantive progress within the Pan-Pearl River Delta. In many ways, this co-operation is already bearing fruit. The nine provinces and autonomous region which we have spoken with in the last few days have all affirmed that they have confidence in maintaining economic growth within 2009. There are some who forecast single-digit growth and there are some who forecast even double-digit growth. To Hong Kong enterprises which invest in the Mainland, this is relatively positive news. This means that, in the face of the international financial tsunami, our investments in the Mainland will bear fruit, and the environment -- commercial, enterprise environment in the Mainland, is basically positive. As for the aspect of investments in infrastructures, five years ago the nine provinces and autonomous region together with the two special administrative regions put together a five-year plan to roll forward infrastructure developments. In many ways, this plan is also bearing fruit. There are many railway projects and motorway projects which the provinces are rolling forward. On the part of Hong Kong, we will be rolling forward the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. We will also be implementing the high-speed railway project between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. All these trans-border major pieces of infrastructure will promote Hong Kong's further development. For example, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will bring both people and goods flows from across the border, from the western part of the Pearl River Delta. After we have completed the high speed rail-link between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, it will take us only 48 minutes to go from West Kowloon to Guangzhou, five hours to go Wuhan, eight hours to Shanghai and 10 hours to Beijing.

     We've also had a bilateral meeting today with the Sichuan Provincial Government. Both the Hong Kong side and the Sichuan side have affirmed that we will take forward as soon as possible the third stage participation by Hong Kong in Sichuanˇ¦s reconstruction. Within June we will be reporting to the Legislative Council's Development Panel on the progress already made. We will also be applying to the Legislative Council Finance Committee for an additional sum of $3 billion to finance Hong Kongˇ¦s participation in the reconstruction work. This will bring us to the pre-determined target of $10 billion on the part of Hong Kong's participation in Sichuan's reconstruction. We hope to gain the support of different parties and independent members in the Legislative Council.

(Please also refer to the Chinese transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, June 11, 2009
Issued at HKT 20:07


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