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CS and Mayor of Shenzhen co-chair Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting (with photos/videos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, and the Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Mr Xu Qin, co-chaired the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation Meeting in Shenzhen today (December 6).  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.

     Mr Tang said, "The meeting has been very fruitful.  On the basis of our close relationship established over the years, both sides continue to take forward Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation in a forward-looking manner.  The two sides will also closely monitor development in the region to seize the opportunities brought about by new national policies that are conducive to the development of Hong Kong and Shenzhen."

     The two sides comprehensively reviewed work progress in the past year, and conducted in-depth discussion on a number of key areas.  The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen co-operation to achieve mutual benefits and prosperity by complementing each other, and to play a more positive role in promoting the enhancement of industrial structure in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.

     In respect of co-operation on modern service industries, the Overall Development Plan on Hong Kong/Shenzhen Co-operation on Modern Service Industries in Qianhai Area (Qianhai Development Plan) as approved by the State Council designates Qianhai as a Hong Kong/Guangdong modern service industry innovation and co-operation exemplary zone, and sets clear policy objectives and directions for the future development of modern service industries in Qianhai.  According to the consensus reached between the two sides, the Shenzhen Municipal Government has taken up a leading role and is responsible for the development and management of Qianhai, while the HKSAR Government will continue to provide comments on the study and formulation of issues like development planning and the related policies.  This will facilitate the authorities concerned to have a better understanding of the Hong Kong business sector, especially the financial services, professional services and other services sectors, and what policies are required to encourage them to set up operations in the Mainland.  Besides, the HKSAR Government will actively complement the publicity and promotional work of the Shenzhen authorities to introduce to Hong Kong enterprises, professional sectors and service suppliers the business opportunities brought about by the Qianhai Development Plan.

     On financial services, the two sides agreed to actively implement relevant measures in the Framework Agreement on Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation.  By leveraging on preferential market access measures under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)
, including in particular those designated for "early and pilot implementation" in Guangdong and Shenzhen, the two sides will further promote financial co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, so as to achieve a mutually beneficial results complementary to the overall development needs of the country.  In addition, the relevant parties in Hong Kong and Shenzhen are actively making arrangements for launching a dual-chip charge card that could carry the electronic money of the two places as soon as feasible.  This will make it more convenient for residents of the two cities to pay for transportation and retail purchases on both sides of the boundary.

     On tourism, both sides welcomed the expansion of the arrangement to allow non-Guangdong residents ordinarily residing in Shenzhen to apply for Individual Visit endorsements in Shenzhen to visit Hong Kong. The expanded scope of residents will include all persons employed by the government, employees of enterprises and individual business owners, covering most non-Guangdong residents employed in Shenzhen. The expanded arrangement will take effect from December 15. The Shenzhen authorities estimated that about four million additional relevant residents would be eligible. Both sides will actively promote the new measure to encourage more Mainland visitors to come to Hong Kong for sightseeing and shopping. This will further facilitate the movement of people between the two places, and will benefit Hong Kong's tourism, retail, catering and other related sectors.

     In respect of the testing and certification industry, the Innovation and Technology Commission has entered into agreements with the Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, and the Market Supervision Administration of Shenzhen Municipality respectively to enhance mutual understanding of each other's systems and to strengthen exchanges and collaboration in testing and certification.  The agreements will pave the way for Hong Kong's testing and certification industry to provide wider range of services for Shenzhen in future, facilitate trade between the two places and promote development of the testing and certification industry in the region.

     On cross-boundary infrastructure development, the Hong Kong and Shenzhen authorities have maintained close liaison and co-operation. Both sides have reached consensus on preparatory works for developing the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point and related improvement works for Shenzhen River, including the handling capacities of the boundary control point, work schedule, entrustment of part of the cross-boundary works for implementation by the Shenzhen side and jointly organising an international design competition for the passenger terminal building.  Substantive progress has been made on the Planning and Engineering Study on Development of Lok Ma Chau Loop jointly commissioned by the Hong Kong and Shenzhen governments, including the publication of the Preliminary Outline Development Plan on  November 23 to kick-start a two-month public engagement exercise concurrently in Hong Kong and Shenzhen to collect views of various sectors of the community.  The two sides will continue to work together to ensure successful implementation of this cross-boundary project.

     On environmental co-operation, the two sides are actively taking forward the Cleaner Production Partnership Programme, under which funding support for 900 projects undertaken by Hong Kong enterprises in the PRD region have been approved, including 247 projects of factories based in Shenzhen. To commend the efforts of enterprises to pursue cleaner production, a total of 115 Hong Kong-owned enterprises, 26 of which are based in Shenzhen, were recognised as "Hong Kong - Guangdong Cleaner Production Partners" at a presentation ceremony of the Hong Kong - Guangdong Cleaner Production Partners Recognition Scheme held in Hong Kong in November 2010.  To improve regional air quality, the two sides are strengthening co-operation and exchange regarding emission reduction from power plants and motor vehicles; use of cleaner motor fuels and control of volatile organic compounds. In addition, the two sides will continue to conduct the study on treatment strategies for the contaminated sediment of Shenzhen River, 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, and development of the environmental service sector.

     The 26th Summer Universiade (the Universiade) will be held in August 2011 in Shenzhen.  The governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen have agreed to maintain efficient communication and collaboration, including the setting up of a joint working group, to facilitate participants of the Universiade to travel to and from Shenzhen via Hong Kong.

     Authorities in Hong Kong and Shenzhen signed the following three co-operation agreements after the meeting:

1. "Agreement on exchange and co-operation in registration of companies/enterprises";
2. "Agreements on exchange and co-operation in testing and certification between Hong Kong and Shenzhen";
3. "Co-operation agreements on promotion of testing, certification and technological innovation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen".

     Texts of the above co-operation agreements are in the Annex (available in Chinese only).

     Officials accompanying the Chief Secretary for Administration in attending the meeting included the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau; the Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Joshua Law; the Permanent Secretary for Development (Planning and Lands), Mr Thomas Chow; the Under Secretary for the Environment, Dr Kitty Poon; the Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Ms Julia Leung and the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui.

     On the same day, the Chief Secretary for Administration led a 30-strong delegation, comprising members of the Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council and representatives from business and professional communities, to a meeting with the Mayor of Shenzhen to exchange views on the promotion of modern service industries in Qianhai, followed by a site visit to Qianhai.

     Separately, the opening ceremony of the Shenzhen Liaison Unit set up under the Guangdong Economic and Trade Office of the HKSAR Government was  held in Shenzhen on the same day.  The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, and the Vice Mayor of the Shenzhen, Mr Chen Gaihu, officiated at the ceremony.  The ceremony was attended and witnessed by the Deputy Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Mr Wang Hui, the Secretary General of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Mr Li Ping, and the Director of Hong Kong and  Macao Affairs Office of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Madam Tang Lixia.  About 200 guests, including representatives from the Guangdong Provincial Government, Shenzhen Municipal Government, trades and professional bodies in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, attended the opening ceremony.

Ends/Monday, December 6, 2010
Issued at HKT 18:38


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