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Transcript of CS' remarks at media session (with photos/video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Stephen Lam, at a media session after the 17th Working Meeting of the Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference at Central Government Offices today (January 9):

     We have had a very productive Guangdong-Hong Kong co-operation working meeting today. There are a few points I would like to emphasise. Firstly, for Hong Kong, the global economic outlook for this particular year is not highly positive. There are problems with the euro and there are other problems in our mature markets like the US, which will prevent growth in imports in those markets from increasing.

     However, against that backdrop, we have very positive policies, already adopted by the Central Government and by the Guangdong Provincial Government, by the HKSAR Government, to continue to promote growth in this particular year. We expect that we can encourage and promote the further development of Hong Kong, as an offshore Renminbi service centre in the course of 2012. Already we have accumulated over 620 billion Renminbi in Hong Kong in saving accounts. In October last year, the Central Government already announced regulations to facilitate the direct investment in the Mainland denominated in Renminbi to be conducted through Hong Kong. Within a short space of about two months, we have 16.5 billion Renminbi investments already taken place. So the nature and the prospects of Hong Kong as an offshore Renminbi service centre is fast becoming a reality.

     In other respects, we have had a very successful and positive result of Hong Kong banks being established in Guangdong. There are four or five banks which have already obtained licences. They have established 19 branches throughout Guangdong, and have established about 105 service points.

     Also, under CEPA Supplement VIII, we are allowing Hong Kong insurers broader prospects to be established in the Mainland. So we will continue the work together with the Guangdong Provincial Government in the course of 2012 to ensure that the Central Government, the Provincial Government and the city government in Shenzhen adopt supportive and appropriate policies to facilitate the establishment of financial services from Hong Kong in Qianhai, and also the establishment of service points for Hong Kong professionals and other services providers in Qianhai. We believe that Qianhai should largely be focused on financial services and professional services.

     In Nansha, there are prospects for the logistics industry and for the wholesale and retail industry to establish service points from Hong Kong. We have also talked to the Guangzhou Municipal Government and we have proposed, for example, that a Hong Kong industrial estate should be considered for establishment in Nansha, so that the Hong Kong industrialists can upgrade their presence in Guangdong Province, in Nansha, in Guangzhou.

     Talking about the upgrading of Hong Kong manufacturing industry in Guangdong, in Pearl River Delta, the HKSAR Government has adopted a policy of establishing a $1 billion special fund to promote retailing of Hong Kong products and the establishment of Hong Kong brands in the Mainland. We will be conducting these exercises through "Hong Kong Weeks" in different localities in the Mainland, and the first of these Hong Kong Weeks will be held shortly in Chongqing.

     So we believe that 2012, in terms of Guangdong-Hong Kong co-operation, will be positive and this will help Hong Kong to deal with the possible downturn in the global economy, and this will also help to sustain growth in 2012 for Hong Kong. Thank you very much.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, January 9, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:47


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