The Expert Group on Hong Kong/Guangdong Town Planning and Development held its second meeting in Zhuhai today (December 15). Two items of co-operation: Planning Study on the Co-ordinated Development of the Greater Pearl River Delta Township (Greater PRD Planning Study) and Hong Kong/Guangdong Urban Planning Information Hub (Planning Information Hub) were discussed.
A signing ceremony of the co-operation agreement on the Greater PRD Planning Study was held at the meeting. Group leaders of the two sides - the Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands of the HKSARG, Mrs Rita Lau and the Director of Guangdong Provincial Department of Construction, Mr Lao Yingxun signed the agreement. The Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands of the HKSARG, Mr Michael Suen and the Deputy Secretary General of Guangdong Provincial Government, Mr Tang Hao, also attended the signing ceremony.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Suen said the Greater PRD Planning Study is the first attempt by Guangdong and Hong Kong to jointly conduct a strategic regional study on the area of town planning. It is hoped that through the study, both sides can work together for enhancing the sustainable development of the Greater Pearl River Delta and to make the region become one of the most vibrant townships in the world.
Mr Tang pointed out at the ceremony that the co-operation agreement has great significance. It signifies that the Greater PRD Planning Study, a joint effort of Guangdong and Hong Kong, has entered into a concrete working stage. It also marks a substantive step forward of both sides in the enhanced co-operation on town planning matters.
The Seventh Plenary of the Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference in 2004 agreed to set up an Expert Group to strengthen the co-operation and communication between Guangdong and Hong Kong on planning and development aspects. The Expert Group first met in November last year and agreed to give the Greater PRD Planning Study and the Planning Information Hub priority. Achievements have been made in stages following subsequent exchanges and discussions.
The Greater PRD Planning Study is one of the important programmes under the co-operation between Guangdong and Hong Kong, and at the Eighth Plenary of the Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference in September, it was confirmed as a major area in enhancing the co-operation between the two governments. The objective of the study is to formulate a city and regional development strategy by taking a forward-looking perspective to consider and to analyze the development approach of the Greater Pearl River Delta under the "One Country Two Systems" framework. Through making use of resources development, environment protection and the development of city and transport, it aims to improve the regional environment, to enhance living quality and to ensure the sustainable development of the Greater Pearl River Delta as well as to improve the overall international competitiveness of the area, while at the same time to build an international township which is full of vibrancy and vigor.
Both sides reached consensus at today's meeting on the principles and approach of the Greater PRD Planning Study and agreed to commission the Peking University and the Guangdong Urban & Rural Planning and Design Institute to undertake the study. The study is expected to be completed in two years. The results and recommendations of the study will become references for Guangdong and Hong Kong in formulating their regional planning and cross-boundary infrastructure projects. The working outline of the study has been uploaded to the website of the Planning Department of the HKSARG (https://www.pland.gov.hk/) and the website of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Construction (http://www.gdcic.net/) for public inspection.
Both sides today exchanged views on planning issues in Zhongshan and Zhuhai. Expert Group members also visited the town planning and construction projects in Zhuhai including the landing point of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Zhuhai-Macao Cross-border Industrial Zone and the Hengqin Development Zone.
The Expert Group, under the Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference, will hold regular meetings to discuss and exchange views on the town planning and development issues which are of concern to both sides. Representatives of policy bureaux and government departments of the HKSARG, including the Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau, Environment, Transport and Works Bureau, Hong Kong Guangdong Co-operation Co-ordination Unit, Transport Department, Environmental Protection Department, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and Planning Department had attended today's meeting. Representatives of the Guangdong side came from Guangdong Provincial Department of Construction, relevant provincial departments and the town planning bureaux of the Pearl River Delta cities.
Ends/Thursday, December 15, 2005
Issued at HKT 19:42