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Internal relations with the Pan-Pearl River Delta region

Hong Kong needs persistent and more vigorous economic growth to enhance our capacity to tackle the long-standing and deep-seated social problems such as housing, poverty, the ageing population and the environment. The current-term Government has been appropriately proactive in promoting economic development, and the Mainland has all along been our best partner in this regard.

In the past two days, I attended the Ninth Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) Regional Co-operation and Development Forum in Guizhou Province. I also took the opportunity to have bilateral meetings with the leaders of Guizhou Province, Guangdong Province, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sichuan Province and Fujian Province to exchange views with them on ways to strengthen co-operation.

I am encouraged that all these places recognise the role of Hong Kong in PPRD regional co-operation in the past nine years. Take the host of this year's forum, Guizhou Province, as an example. The Guizhou-Hong Kong Investment and Trade Week has been held for three consecutive years, with US$52 billion worth of contracts signed. Of the US$733 million realised inward investment in Guizhou Province between January and June this year, 70 per cent came from Hong Kong. In addition, the number of Hong Kong people visiting Guizhou has been increasing by about 20 per cent annually, with over 400 000 tourists from Hong Kong visiting the province from 2010 to the first half of this year.
Since its establishment, the current-term Government has attached greater importance to the promotion of internal relations, or "nei jiao", and enhanced interaction and co-operation with other provinces and municipalities in our country. Over the past year or so, I have already visited Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Sanya and Boao, while our Principal Officials have gone to the Mainland from time to time to work on closer internal relations.

When I met with the leaders of the PPRD provinces and regions, I always emphasised the possibility of co-operation between Hong Kong and their provinces and regions on all fronts, including business, economic affairs, tourism and culture. With its superb business environment, especially its sophisticated professional, financial and trade services and extensive links with the international community, Hong Kong can assist the PPRD region in establishing a platform for "bringing in and going out". This process will in turn create a lot of opportunities for our services sector.

Later this year, I will lead delegations from Hong Kong's industrial, business and professional sectors to Guangxi and Chongqing to seek more and better business opportunities for Hong Kong. My goal is simple, which is, externally, to expand Hong Kong's economic horizons, and, internally, to create an environment for all sectors in Hong Kong to prosper and for our economy to grow at a higher speed so as to benefit all our people.

Speech by CE at the High-Level Forum of the Ninth Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation and Development Forum and Trade Fair (Chinese only)

September 9, 2013