Fourth Hong Kong Macao Co-operation High Level Meeting (with photo)

     The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, and the Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), Mr Tam Pak-yuen, co-chaired the Fourth Hong Kong Macao Co-operation High Level Meeting in Hong Kong today (July 20) to review the progress over the past year and future direction of co-operation between the two places. Relevant officials from the two SARs attended the meeting.

     With concerted efforts from the two places, the Hong Kong-Macau liaison mechanism has seen positive results. Since the third co-operation high-level meeting held in July last year, the total number of co-operation areas under the Hong Kong-Macau liaison mechanism has increased to 18. There has been much progress in a number of co-operation areas.

     On the tourism front, Hong Kong and Macau agreed to deepen co-operation and strengthen partnership in tourism development and promotion. "The tourism resources of the two places are highly complementary. Both sides agreed to maintain close communication in areas such as stepping up trade regulation, enhancing consumer education and developing quality tourism products. Joint efforts will also be made to promote multi-destination itineraries and 'Honest and Quality Tourism', thereby promoting tourism development within the region," said Mr Tsang.

     At the meeting, both sides also exchanged views on other co-operation areas, including culture and civil service training. Mr Tsang stressed that geographical and cultural factors had nourished much closer co-operation between Hong Kong and Macau, which was not confined to economic and trade areas. "The two places have much to share from one another's strengths," he said.

     In addition, both sides reviewed the opportunities brought about by the "Outline of the 12th Five-year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China", including the country's support for the establishment of a financial co-operation zone with Hong Kong's financial system taking the lead. "This year marks the beginning of the 12th Five-year Plan. Hong Kong and Macau's co-operation should leverage their respective strengths and expertise as the starting point and focus on enhancing the overall competitiveness of the region, with a view to promoting co-ordinated development and maximising synergy of the two places," said Mr Tsang.

     Both sides also shared their experience in collaborating with the Mainland authorities in taking forward regional co-operation. Both sides agreed to further examine how co-operation between the two places can be deepened with regard to the national development strategy of strengthening regional co-operation.

     Looking ahead, Hong Kong and Macau agreed to continue to maintain close co-operation and communication in different areas and to explore new areas of co-operation.

Ends/Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Issued at HKT 18:09