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Visit to Shanghai

Economic and trade co-operation between Hong Kong and Shanghai is often interpreted as competition in disguise. The fact is that the two places have all along been co-operating closely with each other in finance, trade, infrastructure and other areas, and there is ample room for us to further complement each other's strengths and create a win-win situation. My visit to Shanghai with Members of the Legislative Council has given me some food for thought.

This morning, we visited the Shanghai Hongqiao Central Business District and Integrated Transport Hub, as well as the manufacturing centre of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. At noon, we met with the Secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, Mr Han Zheng, to exchange views on co-operation between the two places.

Some items of Hong Kong-Shanghai co-operation are well known while some are less known; some are new while some have been ongoing for a long time. The Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport is a shining example of Hong Kong-Shanghai co-operation. The Hongqiao Airport is managed by a joint venture between the Shanghai Airport Authority and the Airport Authority Hong Kong. It was voted the Best Regional Airport in China last year for the second consecutive year.

In the area of finance, many people say that Hong Kong and Shanghai are outright competitors. However, the announcement by Premier Li Keqiang of the establishment of a Shanghai-Hong Kong stock exchange connectivity mechanism illustrates that there is opportunity for mutually beneficial co-operation between the two places even in the area of finance.

During our meeting at noon, Mr Han said that Shanghai had faced quite a lot of challenges in its development over the past few decades. But once the targets were set, they made all-out efforts to brave the challenges and solve problems, resulting in dramatic changes in Shanghai in all aspects and achieving in one generation what would have taken three generations to achieve, he said. Hong Kong can draw a valuable lesson from Shanghai's experience. As long as we work together with a common vision and have the courage to overcome difficulties, there are always more solutions than there are problems.

April 12, 2014