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CS and Acting Mayor of Shenzhen co-chairing the Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation meeting (with photos/video)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, and the Acting Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Mr Wang Rong, co-chaired the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting in Hong Kong today (November 30). Relevant Principal Officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, as well as senior officials and heads of various Shenzhen authorities, attended the meeting.

     Both sides have reviewed comprehensively the work over the past year, and conducted more in-depth discussion over a number of key areas, including the development of Qianhai, tourism co-operation, financial services, education, cross-boundary infrastructure development, environmental protection and innovation and technology. Both sides shared the view that the meeting was a resounding success, and agreed to take forward Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation, conceive new co-operation initiatives and explore new opportunities in a steady, progressive and forward-looking manner.

     On the development of Qianhai, both sides have reviewed the work progress in the past few months, and have reached consensus on the respective role in taking forward the co-operation initiative. The Shenzhen Municipal Government will take up the leading role, and be responsible for the development and management of the Qianhai area, while the HKSAR Government would provide comments on the study and formulation of issues like development planning and policies. To facilitate the discussion of Qianhai development, both sides agreed to collect extensively, through multiple channels and means, the views of experts of the concerned fields on various related issues, such as the mode of development, industry development, new policies, infrastructural development and operational management. The joint expert group to be set up will be led by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs of the HKSAR Government and the Executive Vice-Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal Government. Its members comprise officials of the relevant authorities of both governments. The joint expert group will start to discuss the detailed co-operation direction and content as soon as possible.

     On tourism, both sides welcomed the implementation of a new arrangement from December 15 to allow non-Guangdong residents ordinarily residing in Shenzhen to apply for Individual Visit endorsements in Shenzhen to visit Hong Kong, and will actively promote it to attract more Mainland visitors to come to Hong Kong for sightseeing and consumption, stimulate Hong Kong's tourism, retail, catering and other related sectors, and further facilitate the movement of people from the two places. In addition, the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Hong Kong Tourism Board have signed an agreement to enhance co-operation on areas such as tourism information sharing and joint promotion.

     As regards financial services, both sides agreed to leverage on the "early and pilot implementation" policy to enhance the two-way flow of financial institutions, financial products, capital and talent between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. They also agreed to strengthen the links between the financial markets of both sides in the areas of financial market infrastructure and information sharing. To start with, both sides agreed to seek expansion of the pilot scheme of cross-border Renminbi trade settlement and prompt introduction of exchange-traded funds constituted by Hong Kong stocks to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

     On education, an agreement has been signed between the education authorities of Hong Kong and Shenzhen to confirm the implementation details of the pilot project on the operation of Hong Kong Children Classes in three Minban schools in Shenzhen. Eligible Primary 6 students in these Classes can take part in the Secondary School Places Allocation and will be allocated Secondary 1 places in schools of Hong Kong. The Education Bureau of Hong Kong will provide training for teachers of these Classes and arrange schools in Hong Kong to serve as sister schools of these Minban schools so as to enhance professional exchanges and co-operation. Hong Kong and Shenzhen education authorities will continue to liaise with each other to explore further collaboration opportunities in education.

     On cross-boundary infrastructure development, the Hong Kong and Shenzhen authorities have maintained close liaison and co-operation. Both sides have exchanged views on the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point project with regard to such aspects as work schedule, entrustment of part of the cross-boundary works for implementation by the Shenzhen side and organising design competition jointly for the passenger terminal building. We have made substantial progress on the project. Besides, both sides have reached consensus on the vision to develop the Lok Ma Chau Loop as an area for fostering cross-boundary talents and exchange of knowledge and technology under the principle of sustainable development. This will form the basis for the next stage of the planning work.

     In addition, the two sides reviewed at the meeting the progress made in the studies relating to the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Express Line (WEL), and agreed to pursue the planning work on the basis of the Co-operation Arrangement on Advancing Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Express Line, which was signed in August this year, thereby enabling the WEL to perform its multiple transport functions effectively and facilitating cross-boundary travel between Hong Kong and Shenzhen for travellers. The transport arrangements for Qianhai will be one of the priorities in the planning work.

     On environmental co-operation, following the signing of the Co-operation Agreement on Cleaner Production between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in 2008, the two sides are actively taking forward the Cleaner Production Partnership Programme. In the past year, over 380 projects in the Pearl River Delta region were approved under the Programme. Of these, 90 were from factories based in Shenzhen. In respect of improving regional air quality, both sides are strengthening co-operation and exchange regarding reduction of tailpipe emissions from motor vehicles; use of cleaner motor fuels; implementation of comprehensive vapour recovery system at petrol filling stations, oil depots and tanker trucks; and management of volatile organic compounds pollutants.

     To further improve the water quality of the Shenzhen River, the two sides jointly commissioned a three-year strategic study on remediation of Shenzhen River contaminated sediment in June this year with a view to developing feasible remedial solutions. Both sides will also enhance co-operation in the areas of promoting wider use of clean energy and green transportation.

     On innovation and technology co-operation, Hong Kong and Shenzhen signed a co-operation agreement on "Shenzhen/Hong Kong Innovation Circle" in 2007, in order to consolidate the technological resources and enhance the overall competitiveness of the two places. Following the signing of the agreement, the two sides have jointly launched a number of initiatives, including the joint funding for Research and Development (R&D) projects and joint participation in the annual China High-Tech Fair. The two sides have also successfully invited DuPont of the United States to set up its Global Photovoltaic Research and Development Centre in Hong Kong and to establish a relevant production base in Shenzhen. DuPont's headquarters and R&D centre in the Hong Kong Science Park were opened in March 2009, and the production base also commenced operation earlier this month. In addition, Hong Kong and Shenzhen agreed on a "Shenzhen/Hong Kong Innovation Circle" Three Year Action Plan in March 2009. The Action Plan comprises 24 co-operation projects in various technology fields. Co-operation partners comprise government departments, universities, R&D institutions and community organisations from both sides.

     At the meeting, we also reported to the Shenzhen side that the HKSAR Government will soon establish a dedicated liaison unit in Shenzhen under the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong for liaison with Shenzhen.  

     Apart from the above key areas, there has also been close co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in a number of other areas such as arts and culture, sports, information technology, quarantine and public health, and civil servants exchanges. Both sides agreed to explore new areas of co-operation and concrete measures on the basis of the established foundation.

     Hong Kong and Shenzhen signed the following seven co-operation agreements/arrangements after the meeting :

1. "Co-operation agreement on pilot project on the operation of Hong Kong Children Classes in Shenzhen schools" signed between the two governments.   

2. "Co-operation agreement on cultural and sports exchanges and co-operation for 2010" signed between the two governments.

3. "Co-operation arrangement on aquatic animal disease laboratory diagnosis" signed between the two governments.

4. "Co-operation arrangement on the enhancement of 'Shenzhen/Hong Kong Innovation Circle' development" signed between the two governments.

5. "Agreement on tourism co-operation" signed between the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

6. "Co-operation agreement on 'Shenzhen/Hong Kong Innovation Circle' innovation and technology" signed between the University of Hong Kong and the Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

7. "Co-operation arrangement on Medical Teaching Hospital of the Hong Kong University in Shenzhen" signed between the University of Hong Kong and the Commission of Health, Population and Family Planning of Shenzhen.

     The main text of the above co-operation agreements/arrangements is in the Annex (Chinese only).

     Other Principal Officials accompanying the Chief Secretary for Administration in attending the meeting included the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen; the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam; the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam; and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan. The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing and other concerned officials also attended the co-operation agreement signing ceremony conducted after the meeting.

Ends/Monday, November 30, 2009
Issued at HKT 19:39


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