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|Friday, February 23, 2001, updated at 07:38(GMT+8)|
HK Chief Executive Urges HK's Integration Into Pearl River DeltaHong Kong and the Pearl River Delta must be seen as a regional economy and the integration with the Pearl River Delta was a natural process that Hong Kong should embrace, Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa said Thursday.
"We must manage the change leading to this process, seize the opportunity, and ensure Hong Kong remains the economic driving force for the whole region," Tung said at the 140th anniversary celebration of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.
"The faster the Pearl River Delta gets rich, the better Hong Kong will be. It is a 'one plus one equals three' situation, provided we do not stand still ourselves," said the former member of the Chamber's General Committee.
Tung said that he and the leaders of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan, three cities of China's coastal Guangdong Province, and the Macao Special Administrative Region all shared the vision of a Pearl River Delta regional economy.
He said there are many opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between Hong Kong and the rest of the region to realize this vision.
"The areas that we see offering great potential are IT development, financial services, retail and distribution, import and export, professional services especially in legal services, construction and project management, and transport and logistic services," he said.
"In the months ahead, we will study and hope to identify some measures to promote cooperation in these areas," he said.
Tung emphasized that the initiative must come from the private sector, while the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) would act as a facilitator by pointing the direction and helping clear the path and remove the hurdles if need be.
"I can assure you that the HKSAR government will endeavor to provide a conducive environment for attracting investment and promoting the free flow of people, talents, and goods and services.
This includes tackling the boundary congestion problem and improving the air and water quality and the natural environment we share," he said.
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