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Sixth Hong Kong Macao Co-operation High Level Meeting (with photo)

     The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, and the Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), Mr Tam Pak-yuen, co-chaired the Sixth Hong Kong Macao Co-operation High Level Meeting (the Meeting) in Hong Kong today (July 19). At the Meeting, the two sides comprehensively reviewed co-operation work and achievements made in the past year and conducted in-depth discussion on co-operation directions for the coming year. Mr Tsang said, "The Hong Kong and Macao SARs have much potential for complementary, co-ordinated and mutually beneficial developments."

     The progress and direction for further co-operation in individual areas of co-operation are set out below.

     On cross-boundary infrastructure, the related local works projects of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) are in steady progress, and the governments of the three places formally initiated discussions on cross-boundary transport policies last year. At the meeting, both sides agreed to continue to press ahead with construction works and policy studies in the coming year to ensure timely completion to tie in with the target completion of the HZMB in 2016, which will further promote exchanges between Hong Kong and Macao in the future.

     Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao share the same cultural roots. The three sides reached a consensus earlier this year on enhancing cultural co-operation and will jointly launch in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in 2013 to 2014 an exhibition of cultural relics on Lingnan archaeological achievements over three decades to showcase the archaeological achievements of the three places. In the coming year, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao will continue to strengthen cultural co-operation, enrich the information network for promoting cultural information of the three places and explore the feasibility of developing a mobile phone network portal.

     On the tourism front, tourism organisations of the two places jointly conducted a number of events in overseas markets in the past year to promote regional attractions and multi-destination itineraries featuring Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. The two sides also agreed to enhance future co-operation in promotion, publicity and development of new tourism products, as well as to improve the regulatory framework of the tourism industry and promote the complementary development of the industry of the two places.

     On environmental protection, the two sides have commenced discussion to explore co-operation in the reduction of emissions from marine vessels. In the coming year, through platforms including liaison meetings between the two governments to enhance environmental protection, the two sides will co-operate in taking forward various areas of environmental protection, such as the reduction of emissions from marine vessels, monitoring of air quality and more, to improve air quality in the region.

     On legal co-operation, the two sides signed the Arrangement Concerning Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region in January 2013. The two sides are taking forward relevant legal procedures with a view to implementing the mechanism under the Arrangement by the end of 2013. The Arrangement will foster legal co-operation between Hong Kong and Macao and improve the regional business environment.

     On public health and medical co-operation, the two sides continued to take forward co-operation in medical staff training in the past year. The Hong Kong Hospital Authority and Health Bureau of Macao SAR Government also concluded a memorandum in December 2012 to allow Macao residents to join the Hong Kong Bone Marrow Donor Registry by completing registration at blood donation centres in Macao. The two sides will continue co-operation on public health and medical matters in the coming year.

     The two sides also reviewed co-operation initiatives in other areas such as information and technology, financial services, cross-boundary traveller facilitation and civil service training. At the meeting, the two sides shared experience in regional co-operation and agreed to strengthen efforts to enhance the competitiveness of the whole region.

     At the meeting, the two sides also agreed to expand the scope of Hong Kong Macao Co-operation to e-government services by appointing co-ordinators to exchange views on a wide range of issues concerning the development of e-government services.

     Hong Kong SAR Government officials attending the Meeting included the Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Ms Chang King-yiu; the Deputy Secretary for Transport and Housing (Transport), Ms Rebecca Pun; the Deputy Commissioner for Tourism, Miss Rosanna Law, and representatives from other bureaux and departments.

Ends/Friday, July 19, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:06


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