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[PPRD] Hong Kong 'helpful to inland growth'
Latest Updated by 2006-06-07 09:07:06

>>>Click into related special : The 3rd PPRD Forum

Hong Kong could play a key role in the development of the country's eastern, central and western parts as proposed in the country's Eleventh Five-Year Plan, Chief Executive Donald Tsang said yesterday.

Besides, the pan-Pearl River Delta region could contribute significantly towards the planned formation of the free trade zone between the Chinese mainland and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Tsang was addressing the third Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation and Development Forum, which ended yesterday, in Kunming, Yunnan Province.

He pointed out that the 11th Five-Year plan had put forward the blueprint for development of eastern, central and western parts of the mainland, and Hong Kong was well positioned to play an active role in this grand scheme.

To foster the development and international competitiveness of the eastern provinces, he suggested, Hong Kong could provide capital through direct investment and help them raise funds in the SAR through listing in stock market.

The SAR could also provide professional support with the advantage of its profound experience and global network, and help link up the eastern provinces with neighbouring areas by virtue of the SAR's advantage as a logistic and shipping centre.

As for Central China, which aims for industrialization and urbanization and further opening up, investments from Hong Kong could help the region achieve this purpose. To that end, the CE said, he would visit Changsha, capital of Hunan Province in September and take part in a trade expo there.

Moreover, Hong Kong's extensive international transportation network and logistic services could contribute to the growth of import and export trade in the region.

In western provinces and regions, where the pace of reform and opening up as well as economic readjustment is to be hastened, capital injection into infrastructure projects and specific industries that characterize the region would be something Hong Kong could do to help out. These industries include traditional Chinese medicine, mining of minerals and tourism.

Speaking to ASEAN trade officials at the forum, Tsang underlined Hong Kong's potential role in helping forge the establishment of the free trade zone between the Chinese mainland and member countries of the bloc.

With its professional expertise and experience in trading with ASEAN countries, Hong Kong could become a base for the ASEAN countries to make inroads into the mainland market and vice versa.

Furthermore, Hong Kong's role as an aviation and logistic hub could bolster the flow of people and goods between the two regions. With joint efforts among the PPRD members, more tourists, for instance, could be lured to the PPRD region from Southeast Asia, Tsang said.

However, the CE sounded a note of warning as he said at a cocktail reception that the implementation of the measures in the 11th plan, such as further reform of the yuan, would have profound impact on the long-term development of the SAR.

That is why, he explained, he would call an economic summit meeting in September to forge a consensus as to what strategy Hong Kong should adopt in order to meet such challenges.

Besides attending the forum, Tsang also visited the exhibition associated with the forum with Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua.

The CE admired the Hong Kong booth for having the best design in the exhibition.

The Hong Kong booth, built with transparent materials like glass and illuminated by special lighting that emitted an aura of modernity, gave a presentation on leading industries and innovation and technology.

Editor: Yan

By:Albert Au Yeung Source:China Daily Website
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