CS and Vice-Governor of Fujian Province co-chair Hong Kong/Fujian Co-operation Conference (with photos/videos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, and the Vice-Governor of Fujian Province, Guo Ningning, co-chaired the Third Plenary Session of the Hong Kong/Fujian Co-operation Conference in Fuzhou this morning (November 28). Relevant officials from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the Fujian Provincial People's Government also attended the Conference.
     During the Conference, governments of the HKSAR and Fujian Province reached consensus on enhancing co-operation in the following 10 areas:
Close liaison and exchanges
     Hong Kong and Fujian will support community exchanges and official contacts between the two places, strengthen high-level exchanges and communication between the two sides, enhance liaison and collaboration between government departments of the HKSAR and Fujian under the mechanism of the co-operation conference, encourage both sides to strengthen personnel exchanges and business contacts, promote exchanges and visits between the industries of the two places, and deepen economic and trade co-operation and people-to-people exchanges.
Trade and investment
     Invest Hong Kong of the HKSAR Government and relevant departments of the Fujian Government may jointly organise investment promotion seminars to encourage Fujian enterprises to make use of Hong Kong as the platform to "go global" and to strengthen co-operation between the two places in the services sector and in attracting foreign investment, including the organisation of an investment promotion seminar under the theme of the Belt and Road Initiative prior to the Third Plenary Session of the Hong Kong/Fujian Co-operation Conference to introduce to Fujian enterprises Hong Kong's business advantages and how Hong Kong can facilitate Fujian enterprises to "go global".
Joint participation in Belt and Road Initiative
     Leveraging fully the advantages of Hong Kong as the preferred platform and important node of the Belt and Road Initiative and Fujian as a core area of the Maritime Silk Road, Hong Kong and Fujian will jointly promote strategic partnership between enterprises of both places to join forces in the development of the Belt and Road Initiative and exploring overseas markets. In addition, Hong Kong and Fujian enterprises are encouraged and supported to participate in each other's economic and trade promotion activities, professional exhibitions and all-inclusive exhibitions, including the Belt and Road Summit held annually in Hong Kong, as well as to promote the use of Hong Kong's all-round and professional platform by Fujian enterprises to jointly promote the development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
     When opening up overseas markets, businesses may encounter legal problems including complex international business management, overseas legal risk management and intellectual property rights. Hong Kong and Fujian can complement each other, develop legal and dispute resolution service co-operation, and provide more world-class legal and dispute resolution services for enterprises in both places, especially for Hong Kong and Fujian enterprises developing economic and trade co-operation in areas along the Belt and Road Initiative. In parallel, Hong Kong and Fujian will promote joint exchanges and co-operation between legal talents of the two places and strengthen the links between enterprises and the legal profession, with a view to meeting the rising demand for legal professional services and increasingly complex legal issues.
Innovation and technology co-operation
     Both sides agreed to continue to promote co-operation and exchanges in science and technology between the two places by encouraging universities, scientific research institutions and enterprises of the two places to establish joint laboratories, organising scientific and technological products matchmaking activities and bringing in high-level talents to strengthen scientific and technological co-operation and complementary advantages. Both sides agreed to actively promote co-operation and exchange between the Fuzhou-Xiamen-Quanzhou National Innovation Demonstration Zone and the Hong Kong Science Park, and jointly explore scientific and technological co-operation with countries along the Maritime Silk Road.
Youth exchanges
     Hong Kong and Fujian will continue to promote the Fujian summer internship programme for university students of Hong Kong and conduct exchange activities for young people of the two places. Both sides will also commence an internship programme on biodiversity conservation in Wuyishan for young Hong Kong people, and to actively promote youth awareness of the Belt and Road Initiative and deepen their understanding of Fujian through various activities.
Facilitation measures for Hong Kong people in the Mainland
     Facilitation measures introduced by relevant Central authorities for Hong Kong people on the Mainland will be implemented to provide more convenience and opportunities for Hong Kong people studying, working and living in Fujian. The Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Fujian Provincial Government will soon enhance its advisory services portal for Hong Kong people in Fujian.
     Both sides will encourage Fujian enterprises to set up corporate treasury centres in Hong Kong to centralise management of overseas investment and risks, and to capitalise on Hong Kong's financial platform to "go global" including listing, bond financing, mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructuring, and to make use of Hong Kong's risk management services to expand further their overseas operations.
Cultural and creative industries
     Hong Kong and Fujian have their unique cultural characteristics. Both sides will encourage arts and cultural groups and the film industry in Hong Kong and Fujian to participate in each other's performances and film festivals to enhance exchanges of cultural and creative industries of the two sides. In addition, the cultural and creative industries in Fujian will be invited to participate in Business of Design Week to be held in Hong Kong.
     Hong Kong and Fujian will step up tourism market interaction, participate actively in each other's tourism exhibitions and keep on strengthening mutual exchanges and co-operation between the two places. Fujian will open a "Refreshing Fujian" tourist service centre in Hong Kong to provide a wide variety of services including tourist information to Hong Kong people. Also, both sides will deepen co-operation in cruise tourism to achieve synergy. Measures include development of multi-destination cruise itineraries featuring ports in the region and joint promotion through the Asia Cruise Co-operation, under which Hong Kong and Xiamen are member ports. In addition, for two consecutive years, Fujian has launched a study tour award scheme for youths in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to encourage Hong Kong young people to join study tour to Fujian. With many measures under way, Hong Kong and Fujian have made steady progress in achieving win-win co-operation in tourism.
     Both sides will encourage primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong and Fujian to form sister schools to promote inter-school collaboration in teacher training, student exchange and academic study. So far more than 40 pairs of Hong Kong and Fujian sister schools have been formed. Also, principals and teachers of Hong Kong secondary schools are encouraged to visit schools in Fujian and Hong Kong students are encouraged to participate in exchange activities and pursue studies in Fujian high schools. Both sides will continue to implement the scheme for Hong Kong's sub-degree graduates to enrol in the top-up degree programmes offered by Huaqiao University in Fujian.
     Hong Kong and Fujian also signed the notes of meeting and three agreements, namely on the internship programme on biodiversity conservation in Wuyishan for Hong Kong young people, on joint participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, and on co-operation between the Fuzhou-Xiamen-Quanzhou National Innovation Demonstration Zone and the Hong Kong Science Park.
     The content of the agreements (Chinese only) is enclosed at the Annex.
     Accompanying Mr Cheung to attend the Conference included the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Patrick Nip; the Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Dr David Chung; the Under Secretary for Education, Dr Choi Yuk-lin; the Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Dr Bernard Chan; the Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Joseph Chan; and the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Jack Chan.
     This morning, Mr Cheung also called on the Secretary of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee, Mr Yu Weiguo, and the Governor of Fujian Province, Mr Tang Dengjie, to exchange views on co-operation between Hong Kong and Fujian. 
     Mr Cheung said, "Fujian and Hong Kong are closely related. Hong Kong has about 1.2 million residents of Fujian origin. Hong Kong entrepreneurs have long been actively involved in the development of Fujian, and Hong Kong is also the largest source of foreign investment in Fujian. Since the commissioning of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link on September 23, there are a number of trains travelling between Hong Kong and 10 sites in Fujian which will foster closer links between the two places. The HKSAR Government is also actively taking forward the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point project, which will strengthen land links between Hong Kong and eastern Guangdong and further to Fujian upon completion."
     In the afternoon, Mr Cheung arrived at Wuyishan to visit Wuyi University, one of the partnering organisations of the internship programme on biodiversity conservation in Wuyishan for Hong Kong young people. Mr Cheung also participated in a seminar organised by the University on the programme. He and the delegation then visited a Hong Kong enterprise engaged in tea business.
     In the evening, Mr Cheung departed for Xiamen. Mr Cheung will continue the visit to Xiamen tomorrow (November 29).

Ends/Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:10