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Second Plenary Session of Hong Kong/Shanghai Economic and Trade Co-operation Conference (with photos/video)

     Leading a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) delegation, the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, today (January 5) convened the Second Plenary Session of the Hong Kong/Shanghai Economic and Trade Co-operation Conference in Shanghai together with the Mayor of the Shanghai Municipal Government, Mr Han Zheng, and Shanghai Municipal Government officials.

     "2012 will see enormous opportunities in Hong Kong and Shanghai co-operation. The signing of Supplement VIII to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) last month is an important step towards basically achieving full liberalisation of trade in services between the Mainland and Hong Kong by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan period. It also provided impetus to further the co-operation between Hong Kong and Shanghai. I am pleased to have exchanged views and reached consensus with Mayor Han on deepening the co-operation between the two places to seize development opportunities," the Chief Executive said.

     During this visit in Shanghai, the Chief Executive called on the Party Secretary of Shanghai, Mr Yu Zhengsheng. Both of them exchanged views on the global economic situation, trends of national development and the future direction of co-operation between the two places. The Chief Executive and his delegation then visited the Shanghai World Financial Centre. They will visit the transportation hub in Hongqiao tomorrow to understand more about the latest developments in Shanghai and to explore further co-operation opportunities in areas of financial services and civil aviation.

     At the Conference, the two sides reached consensus on nine areas of co-operation, including commerce, trade and investment; financial services; civil aviation, maritime transport and logistics; tourism, convention and exhibition industries; innovation and technology; cultural and creative industries and sports; exchange of professionals; education, medical and health care; and youth and social development. Governments and relevant authorities of the two places also signed four co-operation agreements, namely, the Agreement on Strengthening Commerce and Trade Co-operation, the Agreement on Cultural Exchange and Co-operation, the Agreement for Civil Service Exchange, and an agreement between the Hospital Authority of the HKSAR and Shanghai Shenkang Hospital Development Centre.

     Major progress made and directions for future co-operation are set out below.

Commerce, trade and investment

     Economic and trade flows between Hong Kong and Shanghai have been flourishing in recent years. The total trade value between the two places grew from US$11.1 billion in 2006 to US$14.7 billion in 2010, representing an increase of 32 per cent. The accumulated number of investment projects in Shanghai originating from Hong Kong also jumped from 13 000 in 2006 to over 17 000 by the end of 2010. The accumulated actual value of Hong Kong investment increased from US$16.1 billion in 2006 to US$31.1 billion by end of 2010, representing an increase of 93 per cent.

     Hong Kong and Shanghai signed the Agreement on Strengthening Commerce and Trade Co-operation at the Conference to foster co-operation to step up the implementation of CEPA, support Shanghai enterprises to "go global" via Hong Kong, and to deepen co-operation in service industries, etc. Both sides will explore the setting up of a liaison mechanism on commerce and trade. The "Green Lane" initiative introduced in Pudong has been serving as a one-stop advisory and processing platform for Hong Kong enterprises planning to invest and set up business there under CEPA. The Shanghai side planned to extend the initiative to other places in the municipality to help Hong Kong enterprises to gain access to the Shanghai market.

Financial services

     With a highly efficient multi-currency capital formation platform, Hong Kong has always been a springboard for Shanghai enterprises to "go global". The number of Shanghai enterprises listed in Hong Kong doubled from 26 in 2007 to 54 last November. The amount of equity funds raised amounted to over HK$230 billion, with market capitalisation at about HK$340 billion.

     The two Governments strongly support the establishment of a joint-venture company of the Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges and encourage further dialogue among relevant parties on this matter. The HKSAR Government is seeking to launch a Hong Kong stocks exchange-traded fund, or ETF, in the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The two places will push for suitable Shanghai financial institutions to raise funds in Hong Kong, to explore co-operation in the insurance industry, and to jointly hold roadshows overseas to promote the financial services of the two places. Furthermore, both sides are exploring the launch of a pilot scheme for exchange of undergraduate students majoring in finance in the two places to enable future talents in the financial services industry to understand more about the financial system and market in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Civil aviation, maritime transport and logistics

     The Airport Authority Hong Kong signed a co-operation agreement with the Shanghai Airport (Group) Co Ltd in October 2009 to establish a joint-venture company, the Shanghai Hong Kong Airport Management Co Ltd, to manage the east and west terminals at the expanded Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, the east transportation centre of the integrated transport hub and the transport flow of the airport. The joint-venture company also oversees the retail business at the terminals. The new terminals came into operation in March 2010. Scheduled air services between Hong Kong and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport were also launched in September 2010.

     Promotional activities, exhibitions and meetings, etc, will be organised by both sides to encourage Shanghai shipping companies to use Hong Kong maritime transport services. Furthermore, the Shanghai Municipal Government will simplify the procedures for registration of Hong Kong shipping companies and port services companies in Shanghai, and, in particular, companies registered in Yangshan Free Trade Port Area and Shanghai North Outer Bund Shipping Service Cluster could enjoy preferential supporting policies applicable in the locality.

Tourism, convention and exhibition industries

     The Hong Kong Tourism Board will work with the Shanghai tourism industry to strengthen joint promotional efforts through various platforms, including itineraries for the "Individual Visit Scheme", as well as thematic activities and festivities (e.g. the Hong Kong Summer Spectacular) and related tourism products through the print media and television media. Capitalising on the completion of the new cruise terminal in Hong Kong in the near future, both sides will also encourage co-operation in cruise tourism.

Innovation and technology

     Both sides would deepen co-operation based on the close partnership between the Partner State Key Laboratories (SKLs) in Hong Kong and SKLs in Shanghai in the areas of molecular neuroscience, chirosciences, synthetic chemistry and liver research. Through the Hong Kong and Shanghai Science and Technology Co-operation Association and various other means, the two places will encourage research institutes to foster exchange in manufacturing and commercialisation of research achievements.

Cultural and creative industries and sports

    The Agreement on Cultural Exchange and Co-operation signed at the Conference established an exchange platform for the arts and culture sector in the two places with a view to promoting exchange in the areas of cultural administration, talent nurturing and organisation of large-scale cultural activities, etc. On the creative industry, the Hong Kong Film Development Council will hold business matching seminars for network game businesses, the comics and animation industry, new media organisations and film production companies of the two places during the 2012 Hong Kong International Film & TV Market. Seminars will also be held to explore co-operation in the "multi-media cross platform" business model. On sports, the international cycling competition Tour of Hong Kong Shanghai has been held for three rounds and discussion between Shanghai and Hong Kong for the fourth tour is under way. Both sides aim to develop the Tour into a leading cycling event in Asia.

Exchange of professionals

     With the renewal of the Agreement for Civil Service Exchange at the Conference, the two places will continue to conduct exchange of civil servants in a number of areas. Furthermore, the two places will continue to strengthen the implementation of relevant measures to enable professionals in other areas such as legal services, accounting and engineering to enter the Shanghai market under CEPA.

Education, medical and health care

     The co-operation agreement between the Hospital Authority of the HKSAR and Shanghai Shenkang Hospital Development Centre was renewed to enhance co-operation and exchange in areas such as hospital management and development, and training, etc. The two places will step up promotion of specific measures under CEPA whereby Hong Kong service suppliers could establish wholly-owned hospitals in Shanghai. The Central Government has earlier announced, with effect from the new school year, a scheme in which Hong Kong students could be admitted to certain Mainland tertiary institutes without taking further examinations. Nine institutions in Shanghai have been included in the scheme and the Shanghai authority will step up preparation for the admission of Hong Kong students.

Youth and social development

     Hong Kong and Shanghai agreed to encourage bilateral exchanges and visits among the youth and communities. Exploration would also be made to promote the exchange of experience in the areas of youth, training of social workers and social welfare through non-governmental organisations.

     In concluding the Conference, the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, said, "Today's Conference was fruitful. We reached consensus on a total of 28 co-operation initiatives covering nine areas. The co-operation initiatives are multi-dimensional, multi-layered and multi-directional."

     The Conference was co-chaired by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mr Donald Tsang, and the Mayor of the Shanghai Municipal Government, Mr Han Zheng. HKSAR Government officials also attending the Conference included the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang; the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam; the Secretary for the Civil Service, Miss Denise Yue; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So; the Head of the Central Policy Unit, Professor Lau Siu-kai; the Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Joshua Law; the Permanent Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (Financial Services), Miss Au King-chi; and other related officials. The Deputy Director of the State Council Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Mr Zhou Po, also attended the Conference as a special guest.

Ends/Thursday, January 5, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:10


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