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National high-speed rail will facilitate Hong Kong’s development, experts say

By Li Yan (People's Daily Online)    15:47, August 02, 2017
National high-speed rail will facilitate Hong Kong’s development, experts say
(File photo)

Industry insiders think that Hong Kong’s connection to the national high-speed railway network will boost its economy and promote people-to-people exchanges with the Chinese mainland.

It will take about 14 minutes to travel the 26 kilometers between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Transit passengers are expected to reach Beijing in nine hours and Shanghai in eight hours after Hong Kong joins the national transport network.

Frank Chan Fan, director of Hong Kong’s housing and transport bureau, said the 26-kilometer rail will play an important role in pushing forward Hong Kong’s medium- and long-term prosperity and consolidate its strategic position as a regional transport pivot.

The opening of the rail line will also bring enormous economic and social benefits to Hong Kong such as saving travel time and cost, strengthening trade cooperation, culture and human resources, Chan added.

According to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, the high-speed railway will save an estimated 39 million travel hours per year in 50 years of operation.

David Fong Man-hung, Chairman of a think-tank, the Hong Kong Strategy, said high-speed railway has brought tremendous changes to the Chinese mainland. “Hong Kong should catch up with the country by joining the national high-speed network.”

Hong Kong will take the opportunity offered by the high-speed railway to participate in the construction of the Belt and Road and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, said Terence Tai-Leung Chong, an associate professor at the Institute of Global Economics and Finance with the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Currently, about 90 million visits from Hong Kong to the mainland take place each year, and the number is likely to increase by over 10 percent annually, David Fong Man-hung said. The railway will further boost Hong Kong’s tourism, local industry insiders said.

 

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