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SDEV speaks to the media

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session after attending a radio programme today (March 5):

Reporter: According to what you have mentioned, there will be a wave of lay-off if the Express Rail Link (XRL) is not going to be completed. But then you have also mentioned just now that we are having a shortage of labour. Can you explain to us? And do you think it is likely for the Hong Kong Government to import foreign labour?

Secretary for Development: In fact in the programme I didn't think I had mentioned about the lay-off because of the possible stopping of the XRL works. But in general, I would like to point out that according to the estimate by the Construction Industry Council, given the high level of construction works in the coming years, there will be a shortage of 10,000 to 15,000 skilled labourers in certain trades. We do think that on the one hand, we have to protect the employment opportunities and income of Hong Kong labourers; on the other hand, for specific trades, we have to agree that there is a shortage of skilled labourers. We should allow importation of such labourers at an appropriate time.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, March 5, 2016
Issued at HKT 14:51