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CS continues visit to Chongqing (with photos/video)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Stephen Lam, continued his visit to Chongqing today (January 15), officiating at a joint opening ceremony for Chongqing-Hong Kong Week 2012 and the Chongqing Liaison Office.  He also met the Mayor of Chongqing, Mr Huang Qifan, and other municipal officials, and visited various locations in the city.

     During his meeting with Mr Huang in the morning, Mr Lam expressed gratitude to the Chongqing Municipal Government for its support for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in setting up Chongqing Liaison Office.

     "Inflow of foreign direct investment to Chongqing in 2011 was US$10.5 billion, with two-thirds coming from Hong Kong.  The establishment of Chongqing Liaison Office has great significance in enhancing economic, trade co-operation between the two places.  Hong Kong also establishes its strategic foothold in the course of western region's development to assist Hong Kong enterprises to capitalise on the opportunities in these areas.

     "The Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) provides a favourable platform for enhancing co-operation of service sectors in the Mainland and Hong Kong. The signing of CEPA Supplement VIII widens and deepens the liberalisation of trade in services between the two places, an important step towards achieving full liberalisation of trade in services by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan.

     "As an offshore Renminbi business centre providing a full range of Renminbi financial services, Hong Kong can assist Chongqing enterprises in trading, attracting foreign investment as well as investing overseas. I suggest strengthening the implementation of measures under CEPA in Chongqing, with a view to fostering closer co-operation between service sectors in the two cities, and opening up the huge market in western China. We also see good opportunities for Chongqing enterprises to use Hong Kong as a platform for capital raising and conducting investments overseas," Mr Lam said.

     Later, Mr Lam, together with Mr Huang, officiated at a joint opening ceremony for Chongqing-Hong Kong Week 2012 and the Chongqing Liaison Office.

     Addressing the ceremony, Mr Lam said Chongqing assumed a leading role in the strategies for developing the western region in China as Chongqing was the only municipality directly under the Central Government in the region.

     Mr Lam also said that the two places have always been on very close terms and that he saw closer co-operation between the two places in the future, bringing win-win benefits to the two places.

     "Hong Kong Week" is aimed at enhancing the assistance provided by the Government for Hong Kong products to build their brands and tap the Mainland market, and to further assist Hong Kong enterprises to seize opportunities arising from the National 12th Five-Year Plan. Three Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices on the Mainland will organise "Hong Kong Week" activities in Chongqing, Wuhan and Quanzhou respectively. "Hong Kong Week" in Chongqing comes first.

     The Government and Federation of Hong Kong Industries have jointly organised promotions and fairs for Hong Kong brands and designs in Chongqing in "Chongqing-Hong Kong Week 2012". They have held a series of large-scale economic and trade exchange activities with the Chongqing Municipal People's Government, including a financial co-operation seminar, economic and trade exchange forum, industries matching seminar and Hong Kong fashion show, to showcase Hong Kong's brands and creativity and foster economic and trade co-operation between Chongqing and Hong Kong.

     In the afternoon, Mr Lam met the Deputy Director-General of the Administrative Committee of Liangjiang New Area, Mr Hao Ming, to better understand the latest developments in Liangjiang New Area. It is the third state-level area set up with the approval of the State Council after the Shanghai Pudong New Area and the Tianjin Binhai New Area.

     This was followed by a visit to the first public rental housing in Chongqing, Menxin Jiayuan, where Mr Lam learned more about the housing policies of the Municipal People's Government and local people's living conditions.

     Mr Lam headed to Chengdu in the afternoon to continue his visit programme and inspect the reconstruction projects supported by the HKSAR Government.

Ends/Sunday, January 15, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:33


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