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2010-11 Policy Address by Chief Executive (9)

C. Promoting Economic Development

The National 12th Five-Year Plan

92. To ensure that Hong Kong can better leverage its unique advantages and functions during the National 12th Five-Year Plan (the Five-Year Plan) period, we will strive to enhance Hong Kong's status as an international centre for financial services, trade, shipping and logistics, and to develop the six industries where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages.  We are actively helping our service industries, especially the professional services sector, expand their presence in the Mainland market progressively. We are working with Guangdong Province to seek to incorporate the most important functions and roles of Hong Kong-Guangdong co-operation into the Five-Year Plan.

Regional Co-operation

Development of Qianhai

93. The State Council set clear objectives and directions for the development of Qianhai last August.  The SAR Government will work with the Shenzhen authorities to encourage the trades in Hong Kong to seize the opportunities arising from the development of Qianhai and to expand the hinterland for Hong Kong's service industries.  With their strengths and international experience, they can complement our country's plan to optimise its industrial structure and contribute to its reform and opening up in the next three decades.

Hong Kong-Taiwan Relations

94. Last April, we set up the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council (ECCPC) while Taiwan established the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council (THEC).  The establishment of the ECCPC and THEC is a milestone in the relations between Hong Kong and Taiwan.  The two places can use this platform to discuss public policies.  We have also set up the Hong Kong-Taiwan Business Co-operation Committee and Hong Kong-Taiwan Cultural Co-operation Committee, which comprise members from the local business and cultural sectors.  They will work with their counterparts under the THEC to foster economic ties and social exchanges between the two places.

95. Last August, the Financial Secretary led a delegation of all ECCPC members to Taiwan and attended the first joint meeting of the ECCPC and THEC.  This was an important starting point to institutionalise communication and liaison between Hong Kong and Taiwan.  In the coming year, we will continue to promote multi-faceted, multi-level exchanges with Taiwan.  These include the active consideration of updating the air services arrangements between Hong Kong and Taiwan, support for the regulatory bodies of both places to strengthen the liaison mechanism on co-operation in regulating the banking industry, the use of the new ECCPC-THEC platform to explore opportunities for economic and trade co-operation and double taxation avoidance issues.  We will pursue the setting up of an office in Taipei by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and discuss with Taiwan the establishment of a multi-functional office in Taipei by Hong Kong.

Ten Major Infrastructure Projects

96. The current-term Government's strategy of promoting economic growth through infrastructural development entails the undertaking of 10 major infrastructure projects.  The projects are now being gradually implemented.  Among them, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and the Kai Tak Development Plan Stage 1 have commenced construction.  We are pressing ahead with the planning, design and consultation for the MTR Sha Tin to Central Link so that construction can commence as soon as practicable.  The planning and design of the South Island Line (East) will also be completed soon and the construction works are expected to commence next year.  Apart from the 10 major infrastructure projects, we have also forged ahead with government works projects to improve our urban environment and create employment opportunities.  Annual expenditure on capital works projects has climbed from $20.5 billion in 2007-08 to an estimated $49.6 billion this financial year.  The amount will exceed $50 billion for each of the next few years.  With these projects, and initiatives such as Operation Building Bright, the employment situation in the construction industry has improved remarkably.  The unemployment rate in the construction industry has dropped from a post-tsunami peak of 12.8% to the recent 7%.

The Six Industries

97. Last year, I accepted the recommendations of the Task Force on Economic Challenges for the development of six industries where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages.  They are medical services, environmental industries, testing and certification, education services, innovation and technology, and cultural and creative industries.  We are gradually implementing the relevant measures.  This is a long-term industrial development plan which can put Hong Kong on a path towards a diversified and high value-added economy.  We will continue to monitor the development of these six industries, with emphasis on integration with the Mainland market, so as to inject new impetus into our economy.

(To be continued)

Ends/Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Issued at HKT 12:05


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