Five Hong Kong/ Shenzhen co-operation pacts signed (with photos)

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, and the Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Mr Xu Zongheng, co-chaired the Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation meeting in Shenzhen today (November 13). Relevant Principal Officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, as well as senior officials and heads of various Shenzhen authorities, attended the meeting.

At the meeting, Hong Kong and Shenzhen discussed and exchanged views on various areas of co-operation and projects of mutual concern. Both sides agreed that the meeting was effective and had made a big step towards fostering closer co-operation between the two sides.

In order to tackle the operation difficulties encountered by Hong Kong businesses in Shenzhen, Hong Kong has proposed concrete measures for the Shenzhen Municipal Government to consider to assist the enterprises at the municipal level in lowering their operating costs, expanding the internal market, assisting their financing as well as facilitating their upgrading and restructuring. The Shenzhen Municipal Government will consider actively and seriously the proposed measures. The Governments of both places will follow up the relevant measures at the working level.

Following the establishment of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Joint Task Force on Boundary District Development and the Task Force on Airport Co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen last year, positive and concrete results and progress had been achieved over the construction of the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point, the development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop and the fostering of closer co-operation between the two airports. Both sides also exchanged views on the future work plans of these projects.

At the second meeting of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Joint Task Force on Boundary District Development in September 2008, the Governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen agreed to construct the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point and announced the decision immediately after the meeting. Both sides will adopt the "people-oriented" approach in the design so as to offer the greatest convenience to its future users. A "Working Group on the Implementation of the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point" under the Joint Task Force has been set up for the effective co-ordination of work. The Working Group will discuss the concerned technical issues at its next meeting to be held next month.

The two sides signed a co-operation agreement on the Joint Comprehensive Study of the Lok Ma Chau Loop today to kick off the relevant preparatory work. It is planned that consultants will be engaged in mid-2009 to undertake the planning and engineering feasibility study. On the land use aspect, both sides initially considered that higher education might be developed as the leading land use in the Loop with high-tech R&D facilities and creative industries incorporated. The idea would provide impetus for human resources development in the South China region and enhance the competitiveness of the Pearl River Delta, as well as benefit the long-term economic development of the two cities.

Hong Kong and Shenzhen set up two expert groups under the Task Force on Airport Co-operation to study the feasibility and economic benefits of connecting the two airports with a rail link and to pursue airport business co-operation respectively. The Task Force held two meetings in January and May 2008. On airport business co-operation, the Task Force witnessed the signing of a framework agreement on passenger facilitation in May, followed by the implementation of the co-operation items under the agreement for transit passengers in September to realise synergy between the two airports. A preliminary consultancy study on the rail link proposal commissioned by the two sides is targeted for completion within this year to provide a basis for the two Governments to consider the way forward.

On innovation and technology co-operation, the two sides have taken forward a number of collaborative initiatives following the signing of the co-operation agreement on the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Innovation Circle Interactive Base. They include joint funding for R&D projects, joint participation in the China High-Tech Fair, the establishment of liaison offices between the Hong Kong Science Park and the Shenzhen High-tech Industrial Park, and the setting up of a Shenzhen/Hong Kong Productivity Foundation by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. Moreover, as the first major co-operation item under the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Innovation Circle framework, the two sides have successfully invited DuPont of the United States to set up its Global Photovoltaic Research and Development Centre in Hong Kong and to establish a relevant production base in Shenzhen. Hong Kong and Shenzhen are working on an action plan for the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Innovation Circle over the next three years, with a view to further enhancing the mutual co-operation between the two places in the area of science and technology.

On tourism co-operation, Hong Kong and Shenzhen will step up communication between travel trades and co-operation in tourism promotion, specifically on joint promotion of multi-destination itineraries and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) tourism.

Regarding cultural co-operation, Hong Kong and Shenzhen signed the Agreement on Further Enhancement of Cultural Co-operation with a view to further enhancing and facilitating mutual cultural prosperity and development and establishing closer partnership on the cultural front based on the existing co-operation foundation.

Hong Kong and Shenzhen continue developing closer co-operation on education. At the meeting, the Hong Kong and Shenzhen education authorities signed an education co-operation agreement, which will allow them to better complement each other's strengths and to widen the scope of co-operation on education between them. Both places agreed to promote education exchange and co-operation at different levels, and to encourage and support multi-faceted collaborative activities among schools, teachers and students of the two sides. Hong Kong and Shenzhen will hold annual meetings to exchange views, explore the future roadmap and develop initiatives for further co-operation.

The HKSAR Government also exchanged views with the Shenzhen Municipal Government on medical care as well as quarantine and public health issues. Both sides agreed to step up their co-operation in these areas.

Hong Kong and Shenzhen signed five co-operation agreements after the meeting. They are:

* Co-operation agreement on joint comprehensive study of the Lok Ma Chau Loop
* Education co-operation agreement
* Co-operation agreement on cleaner production between Hong Kong and Shenzhen
* Agreement on further enhancement of cultural co-operation
* Agreement on co-operation in tourism

The gist of the five Hong Kong/Shenzhen co-operation agreements is in the Annex
Other Principal Officials accompanying the Chief Secretary for Administration included the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen; the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam; the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, and the Acting Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Yau Shing-mu.

Ends/Thursday, November 13, 2008
Issued at HKT 18:43


The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam (right), signing the co-operation agreement on joint comprehensive study of the Lok Ma Chau Loop with Shenzhen Municipal Government Executive Vice Mayor, Mr Li Feng (left), in Shenzhen today (November 13). The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, attending the Hong Kong-Shenzhen co-operation meeting at Wuzhou Guest House in Shenzhen.