Assess Future Demand and Supply of Economic Land Use Review of Economic Land Uses
One of the Government’s policy objectives is to provide sufficient land to facilitate the sustained development of different economic activities. This is crucial to the successful implementation of various policies on industry or economic development. The development of Hong Kong Science Park and industrial estates are some good examples. In view of the latest global and local economic developments, Planning Department (PlanD) will shortly update its forecast of demand for land of major market-driven economic uses1 in the “Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy”, taking into account Hong Kong’s economic outlook, the latest population growth and manpower projections, technology advancement, etc.
Meanwhile, DEVB and PlanD will continue to work with the other relevant bureaux and departments on the land use planning for and requirements of specific industries and economic activities to help further analyse their future land demand and supply, with a view to further supporting the Government’s policies on industry or economic development, and better utilising our scarce land resources. Our aim is to obtain a holistic picture for better land use planning to duly cater for the development needs of different sectors/industries and, in the case of competing requirements, properly prioritise land allocation.
1 The HK2030 Study provides a broad-brush estimation of the future requirements of three major economic land uses, including Central Business District (CBD) Grade A Offices; General Business which covers private offices (excluding CBD Grade A offices), industrial/office buildings, flatted factories and private storages; and Special Industries which refer to land uses with particular accommodation requirements, such as requiring sites suitable for capital and/or technology intensive industrial operations which may have special infrastructural and/or locational requirements, and/or where special treatment, security, or other measures have to be taken.
The spending performance of the Capital Works Programme in 2013-14 is satisfactory, reaching the level of around $70 billion. This represents a gradual and sustained increase from the actual expenditure of $62.4 billion in 2012-13. We will continue to invest in infrastructure development to promote economic growth, create employment opportunities and enhance the long-term competitiveness of Hong Kong.
We continue to implement infrastructure projects to meet the diverse needs of the community. Of the about $480 billion approved by the Legislative Council’s (LegCo’s) Finance Committee over the last five years, about 60% is devoted to the Ten Major Infrastructure Projects and the remaining 40% to other projects of varying scales. We expect that based on the planned infrastructure programme, the annual capital works expenditure in the next few years will exceed $70 billion.
Procurement System for Public Works Projects
While the infrastructure development programme brings to Hong Kong substantial economic and social benefits, we are mindful of the need to take anticipative actions to ensure the economical delivery of quality infrastructures. After a strategic review of the existing procurement system for public works projects, we have been formulating new initiatives to build up capacity and facilitate healthy growth of the construction industry. For this purpose, we remove redundant entry barriers with a view to attracting more contractors and consultants, both local and overseas, into our construction market and enhancing competition in tendering for public works projects. We are also formulating measures to enhance construction productivity, innovation and creativity in the design and construction of projects.
Security of Payment Legislation
To enhance the business operating environment of the construction industry, we are carrying out preparation work for introducing a new legislation in 2015-16 to enhance the security of payment in construction-related contracts and with adjudication for speedy resolution of disputes, thereby enhancing the cash flow of the construction supply chain. We have set up a “Working Group on Security of Payment Legislation for the Construction Industry” with members from key industry stakeholders. The Working Group has provided views on the framework of the proposed legislation. We will conduct public consultation on the legislative proposal in 2014.
Supporting Construction and Related Engineering Professionals to Conduct Business in the Mainland
Since signing of the “Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement” (CEPA) in 2003, 41 market liberalisation measures have been secured to facilitate stakeholders of the Hong Kong construction industry to practise and develop their business in the Mainland, particularly in Guangdong Province under the pilot scheme arrangement. Through mutual recognition between Hong Kong and the Mainland, 1 490 Hong Kong construction and related engineering professionals have already obtained the relevant Mainland professional qualifications. Amongst them, 559 professionals of the three disciplines, namely architect, structural engineer and building surveyor, may now use their status of registered practitioner in Guangdong as an enterprise qualification to set up companies to conduct business under the Guangdong pilot scheme.
We will strive to secure mutual recognition of professional qualifications for more professional disciplines, including electrical engineer and building services engineer. We will also seek to expand the Guangdong pilot scheme so that more Hong Kong professionals, who have acquired the respective Mainland professional qualifications, may register as practitioners and have their status recognised for the purpose of fulfilling enterprise qualifications in Guangdong. Efforts will also be made to expand the pilot scheme to other parts of the Mainland.
In September 2013, we signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen - Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen (Qianhai Authority) with a view to exploring more opportunities for Hong Kong professionals and enterprises in the construction and engineering sectors to participate in Qianhai development. We will closely collaborate with the Qianhai Authority to identify pilot construction projects in Qianhai to introduce Hong Kong construction and management systems and allow Hong Kong professionals and enterprises to provide professional services directly in Qianhai. We also seek to expand the scope of services of construction designers so that they can provide a full range of services throughout the project delivery cycle, including engineering design, project management and works supervision services. Besides, we will arrange training attachment for professionals of the two sides to facilitate exchange of expertise and knowledge in the aspects of planning and construction.