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Transcript of remarks by CS at media session (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session in the Legislative Council Complex today (February 1):

Reporter: Chief Secretary, as my battery is dying, could you just say very quickly why this is the preferred way to deal with the issue?

Chief Secretary for Administration: Today the different bureaux have announced measures to sort of deliver the Chief Executive's pledge that when the capacity constraints in Hong Kong, whether in terms of services or in terms of goods which are no longer capable of meeting these growing demands from our Mainland visitors, we will put the interests of our local people first. So in terms of the infant formula we have announced a series of measures, both in terms of amending the Import and Export (General) Regulations to control the export of infant formula to running a special hotline to help mothers to secure their supply over a certain period as well as stepping up enforcement at control points, and in terms of allocating Primary One school places in the North District, we will try to meet the wishes of parents who want to have their kids enrolled in the primary schools in the same district.

Reporter: Well, just focusing on the milk, these measures seem to be the most minimal measures that you could have come up with.

Chief Secretary for Administration: I don't think so. Amending a piece of legislation is not a minimal measure. In fact we have seriously considered and come up with this package of measures, which include controlling the export of infant formula, by which we will then be able to ensure a more secured supply for our local mothers, to stepping up enforcement and control at the border points, and also taking a rather exceptional step, for a government to step in to provide a hotline service for mothers in Hong Kong to order their infant formula.

Reporter: But you're only focusing, you're using the Import and Export Regulations when you could have made it a protected item.

Chief Secretary for Administration: Well actually, the most important aspect of control in these circumstances is to make sure that the supply of infant formula stays in Hong Kong as far as possible. In other words, it's to control the export of this infant formula. So, invoking the Import and Export Ordinance, which has been applied to other commodities, is the most appropriate measure.

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

Ends/Friday, February 1, 2013
Issued at HKT 20:49


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