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Transcript of remarks by SCMA

     The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam; the Chairman of the Consultative Committee on Economic and Trade Co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland (the Committee), Mr Jack So; and the Deputy Chairmen of the Committee, Dr Henry Cheng and Dr Joseph Lee, met the media this afternoon (October 7). Following is the transcript of Mr Tam's reply to a question from the media:

Reporter: What is the role of this committee? Are you worried about increasing competition with Shanghai, especially with the establishment of the free trade zone?

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I would address your second question first. It is the established policy for the HKSAR Government that we would support the furthering and deepening of reform in economic and trade area in the Mainland including financial services as well. And, therefore, for the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, of course, details of which have not been revealed in total and we are still waiting for some further details to come, but, in general, it is our position that we would support the development. We would certainly support the efforts. We believe that for Hong Kong as an international financial centre with global influence, we would be able to contribute to this initiative and participate in this initiative as well. We would continue to liaise with the Shanghai authorities through the existing mechanism to see in which area we would be able to contribute.

     The role and functions of this committee, as explained in our terms of reference issued today, under the leadership of Chairman Mr So and the two Deputy Chairmen, we would expect the Committee to come up with practical and concrete recommendations on how to deepen the co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland in the area of economics and trade. Firstly, to explore business opportunities in new areas, geographical areas as well as enterprises or industries. Secondly, to see whether we can elevate the level of operation with neighbouring regions including Qianhai, Nansha and Hengqin and also, of course, the Loop area which is within the jurisdiction of Hong Kong. Thirdly, to recommend to the Government how to further our efforts in promoting the liberalisation of trade and services as well as investment facilitation efforts and measures. All in all, these recommendations of which the Committee would propose to us would have to be at G2G (government to government) level, that is, what the Government should do with our counterparts in the Mainland, both at central and provincial levels.

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

Ends/Monday, October 7, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:41


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