Secretary for Development attends Ningbo-HK Economic Co-operation Forum (with photo)

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, attended the opening ceremony of 2010 Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Co-operation Forum in Ningbo today (August 30) and delivered a keynote address on the challenges and opportunities arising from urbanisation in Hong Kong.

The Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Co-operation Forum is jointly organised by the Ningbo Municipal People's Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to promote trade and economic co-operation between the two cities. The forum, now in its ninth year, has been hosted alternately by Ningbo and Hong Kong since 2002.

This year's forum is being held in Ningbo from August 30 to September 1. With the theme "seizing new opportunities and creating new advantages", the forum aims to promote co-operation and exchange in regional co-operation, finance, trade and commerce, education, public health, tourism and digital animation. More than a thousand business leaders, academia and government officials will attend the three-day forum.

Speaking at the forum's opening ceremony, Mrs Lam said through promoting infrastructural development and heavy investments, the Hong Kong SAR Government had built up a solid foundation for Hong Kong's economy. In recent years, public aspirations for a better quality of life had brought in many challenges and valuable experiences in urban planning and development.

These challenges included handling air pollution problem, reducing "heat island effect", reducing energy consumption, maintaining stable and safe water supply, preventing flooding and ensuring slope safety.

The Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government introduced the concept of "progressive development" in his 2007–08 Policy Address. He stressed the need to protect the environment while promoting economic growth so as to create a quality city life for the people of Hong Kong. Development must be sustainable, balanced and diverse. 

Mrs Lam said that in striking a balance between economic development and quality living, which had different requirements for land use, the government would create a better living environment through reviewing development density, conducting air ventilation assessments, promoting green building, and implementing urban renewal and harbourfront enhancement works.

The government had also launched the Total Water Management Strategy, improved the drainage systems in urban areas, formulated flood prevention strategy in rural areas, and implemented landslip preventive programmes. The government was also committed to promoting heritage conservation and revitalise historic buildings.

Mrs Lam visited Ningbo Old Bund ("Lao Wai Tan") in the afternoon to understand the work of Ningbo government in heritage conservation and revitalisation of historic buildings.

Ningbo Old Bund is originally the Ningbo port, the oldest of its kind in China. The municipal government has protected and revitalised the old buildings by injecting a commercial element while preserving the traditional flavour of the street areas. The relics of Ningbo past now play host to a dazzling array of restaurants, entertainment and retail facilities.

She also visited Ningbo Museum and Ningbo Bang Museum to understand the history and culture of Ningbo city and the Ningbo community.

Mrs Lam arrived in Ningbo yesterday (August 29) for a four-day official visit. She will proceed to Zhoushan tomorrow to study its infrastructural development and urban planning and visit Fenghua on September 1 before returning to Hong Kong.

Ends/Monday, August 30, 2010
Issued at HKT 19:27


The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, meets the Mayor of Ningbo, Mao Guanglie, during her visit to Ningbo.