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

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at a media session today (April 4) after inspecting the work progress of the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities artificial island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge:
Reporter: Mr Leung, the artificial island. The business facilities there will actually not be completed until after the bridge is actually in use. How can you solve this such a delay problem, given that it means that it probably will take a couple more years for the business areas to be in use?

Chief Executive: The plan that we now have, which we are studying to prepare, was not part of the original concept, but we want to fully utilise the development potential of this artificial island so that, as I said, we could alleviate pressure that is being exerted on the established shopping and other commercial areas that overseas tourists frequently visit. So we'll do it as quickly as we can, and we believe that it will be a very popular destination for tourists.

Reporter: Chief Executive, could you comment on the site visit today? What did you think of the artificial island and the progress of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge development? Do you feel that you have a lot of expectations? Do you think it will benefit Hong Kong greatly?

Chief Executive: Firstly, Lantau Island itself and the vicinity have huge potential for it to realise the "bridgehead economy", to build a "bridgehead economy". Lantau Island used to be an outlying island, and now it's not fully connected to the other parts of the Pearl River Delta by road. When the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is completed in a couple of years' time, Lantau would be part of the thoroughfare connecting the main areas of Hong Kong and Kowloon and the western parts of the Pearl River Delta. So, the potential is there, we are realising the potential. Secondly, the development of Lantau Island and its vicinity would be able to help address the question of increasing pressure on existing shopping and commercial areas in Hong Kong and Kowloon, so that's useful in that respect as well. Thirdly, as we all saw, where there is a question of the location of the man-made island, which will provide the boundary crossing facilities or the design of it, or the actual implementation of the engineering works, we pay full regard to the protection of the environment, and it costs more, adds to the budget, but we need to strike the right balance between development and environmental conservation.

Reporter: How long will that study actually take, and what are the areas that you are actually looking?

Chief Executive: We are doing it as quickly as possible, and as you know this matter concerns not just Hong Kong. This matter concerns those on the outside, the Central Authorities. And it's not just one authority: the Central Authorities and Guangdong itself.

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

Ends/Friday, April 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:40


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