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Vice-Premier Li Keqiang attends National 12th Five Year Plan Forum (with photos/videos)

     The Vice-Premier of the State Council, Mr Li Keqiang, started the second day of his visit to Hong Kong today (August 17).  

     Accompanied by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, Mr Li attended the Forum on the National 12th Five-Year Plan and Economic, Trade and Financial Co-operation and Development Between the Mainland and Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in the morning.

     At the forum, Mr Li delivered a speech titled "Step up Co-operation for Development and Prosperity" which focused on the important role of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in overall national development, before taking questions from the floor.

     Mr Li said that the 12th Five-Year Plan, for the first time, contains a separate chapter on the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao. The part related to Hong Kong spells out in clear terms the policies of the Central Government to support Hong Kong's development and promote the co-operation between the Mainland and Hong Kong. It fully reflected the principles of "One Country, Two Systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and "a high degree of autonomy", took into serious consideration the concerns of all sectors of Hong Kong society, and would surely exert a positive impact on Hong Kong's future development.

     "It is in Hong Kong's need and China's need that Hong Kong continues to bring out the unique advantages it has developed over the years and play its irreplaceable role in the Mainland's reform, opening-up and modernisation drive," he said.

     "We have every confidence in the future of China. We have every confidence in the future of Hong Kong. We also have every confidence in the co-operation between the Mainland and Hong Kong. To maintain long-term, steady and rapid economic development and promote social harmony is a goal and requirement set out in the 12th Five-Year Plan."

     "To maintain Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability is the starting point and objective of the Central Government's policy on Hong Kong. These two long-term goals are closely inter-connected. They bear on the fundamental interests of Hong Kong and the country as a whole, and represent the common aspiration of all Chinese people," he added.

     Mr Li said that under the requirements of the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Central Government has, in keeping with the realities and with its long-term perspective, adopted a number of new policies and measures designed to support Hong Kong's development and deepen economic and financial co-operation between the Mainland and Hong Kong. This was consistent with the policy of opening up to Hong Kong first under the "One Country, Two Systems" formula and aimed at taking Mainland-Hong Kong economic and financial co-operation to a new high.

     The new policies and measures are: greatly increasing the Mainland's openness to Hong Kong in the trade in services; consolidating and upgrading Hong Kong's standing as an international financial centre; supporting Hong Kong in developing itself into an offshore RMB centre; supporting Hong Kong in its participation in international and regional economic co-operation; helping enterprises in both the Mainland and Hong Kong to "go global" together; and giving full play to Hong Kong's important role in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao co-operation.

     Mr Li said the policies and measures above give expression to the Central Government's firm resolve to support Hong Kong's development.

     "Hong Kong's destiny and prosperity link closely with those of the motherland. Let me reiterate here: the Central Government will exert its utmost to do everything that contributes to prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and to the common development of Hong Kong and the Mainland," he said.

     "I am confident that in the course of building a moderately prosperous society in China and achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Hong Kong will surely write a fresh and shining page by creating new miracles!" he added.

     Mr Li then attended the Signing Ceremony of Mainland-Hong Kong Economic and Trade Co-operation Projects to witness the further strengthening of co-operation in trade and finance between the two places, and launched the third issue of the People's Republic of China Renminbi sovereign bonds in Hong Kong. This round of bond issue demonstrates clearly the Central Government's support for Hong Kong's development as an offshore Renminbi business centre.

     Mr Li's next stop was a visit to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), where he was greeted by the Chairman, Mr Ronald Arculli, and received a briefing by Chief Executive, Mr Charles Li, on the operation of HKEx. There was an exchange between Mr Li and floor traders during a tour of the trading hall. He was presented with a floor trader's vest with the number 6632 as a souvenir.

Ends/Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Issued at HKT 14:15


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