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Transcript of remarks by CE on Economic Development Commission (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at a media session after chairing the third meeting of the Economic Development Commission at the lobby of West Wing, Central Government Offices, Tamar, today (October 31):

Chief Executive: Today we held the third plenary meeting of the Economic Development Commission. Before this, the four working groups had their respective meetings, and therefore we have two major parts on our agenda this morning. One is the existing land use of Hong Kong, and also what should we take into account in the future land use planning of Hong Kong to facilitate the development of the various economic sectors, and how we should prioritise the allocation of land resource to each of the four major sectors represented by the four working groups. And the other part of the agenda was to listen to the reports of the convenors of the four working groups. They have all made progress. As I said when we formed this commission, there are enough commentaries regarding the present state of Hong Kong's economic development, and also the potential of our economic development. What would be very useful, and this is what I asked the working groups and members to do, is for members of working groups to actually tell Hong Kong Government, in as concrete terms as possible, what they think Hong Kong Government should do for the four major economic sectors to go forward and develop.

Reporter: But are you saying that you are actually allowed to change the goal posts anytime that you want? That you can actually delete any sort of paragraph ...?

Chief Executive: We have reiterated this point many, many times in the past two weeks. We follow the system, established policies, procedural justice and procedural fairness and the relevant laws in making the decision, and that has been the position of the Government all along.

Reporter: Mr Leung, can you explain how you are going to assess Hong Kong's ability to receive Mainland tourists. I think I heard somebody mention that the assessment's not completed yet, but can you talk about your ideas of maybe expanding further hot spots, tourist hot spots, not just in the city centre but across Hong Kong?

Chief Executive: We are very conscious. I shall ask Mr Jack So to supplement, but I will say a few words to start with. We are very conscious of the capacity issue. We are also conscious of the possibility of crowding out, namely taking on more and more tourists and therefore more and more tourists shopping having an impact on the daily lives of Hong Kong people. So we want to create and enlarge our capacity all the time, and insofar as tourist attractions are concerned, as you know we've been expanding our theme parks, and we are also creating other attractions within the city. As to the concrete possibilities before us, Jack.

Convenor of the Working Group on Convention and Exhibition Industries and Tourism, Mr Jack So: Just now I mentioned the Kai Tak Fantasy, which is a project located at the end of the old Kai Tak runway, and in between there's a piece of water then connected to Kwun Tong pier. So that whole piece would in future be developed into a tourist attraction, probably featuring the best of Hong Kong in culinary tastes, in shopping, in maybe media, film industry, etc. The whole idea is to make this a world-class tourist attraction, and we are putting this out to an international competition to make sure that we get the best inspiration from around the world. So that's just one idea. We are hoping that in future there will be other tourist attractions, particularly in outlying areas so as to relieve the pressure of too many tourists just crowding into the centre of town.

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

Ends/Thursday, October 31, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:04


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