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Beijing-HK Economic Cooperation Opens New Chapter

  HONG KONG, Sept. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- The cooperation between Beijing and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is expected to open a new chapter with the establishment of a new mechanism for promoting bilateral cooperation and determination offocused fields of cooperation. 

  Thursday's meeting between Liu Qi, secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa, the first ever "summit" meeting of the two cities, indicated the significance attached by the two governments to the Beijing-Hong Kong economic cooperation

  The two sides decided to start a new mechanism for strengthening bilateral ties -- the convening of Beijing-Hong Kongeconomic cooperation conference irregularly in Beijing and Hong Kong by turns when necessary.

  Special liaison offices will also be opened in the two cities to facilitate the daily communications of the two governments.

  With the preparation of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, implementation of Chinese mainland/Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and Hong Kong's economic recovery, the Beijing-Hong Kong trade and economic cooperation have been injected by fresh impetus and enters into a higher level.

  Liu Jingmin, vice mayor of Beijing, said at a press conference held in Hong Kong Tuesday, two days before the opening of the two-day 8th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Symposium & Olympic Economic Market Promotion, that with the finishing of the Athens Olympic Games, Beijing has entered a new phase of its preparation for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the next four years will be the most essential period for the preparation.

  Liu pledged that domestic and overseas investors will be treated equally in their bidding of all the Olympic Games related projects. He especially expressed welcome to Hong Kong investors and Hong Kong-based foreign companies.

  Beijing has brought here a total of 130 major projects, including that of infrastructure, education, culture, sports, commerce and tourism.

  Hong Kong's Mainland Headwear Holdings Limited, the world's first listed headwear company, has been granted as a special agentof sale of franchise by Beijing Olympic Games headwear products only one month ago by Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of XXIX Olympiad, said Ngan Heikeung, chairman of the company.

  Ngan said though his company has been focusing European and American markets in the past few years, his company expected to have more shares in the Chinese mainland market.

  He said the Chinese mainland market has great potential and bigcities as Beijing and Shanghai are the company's prime markets.

  Apart from producing products designated by the Beijing Organizing Committee, Ngan, said his company will open its first store in Beijing soon.

  Quite a number of Hong Kong businessmen came to the exhibition hall of the Olympic Economic Market Promotion Conference to seek to be agents of the sale of franchise of the Beijing Olympic Games.

  With the hosting of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing hasdetermined to push ahead with its economic development and urban construction. According to the municipal planning, Beijing expectsto raise its per capita GDP to 6,000 US dollars in 2008, doubling the present level.

  Lu Hao, visiting Beijing vice mayor, said Beijing has similar economic structure with Hong Kong and the two places are experiencing different development phases. The two cities can complement with each other with the respective advantages.

  Lu said he believed that there will be great potential for the Beijing-Hong Kong economic cooperation.

  Service sector is Hong Kong's pillar industry and it also accounts for 61 percent of Beijing's GDP. The central government and Hong Kong signed CEPA II last month. According to the new agreement, the Chinese mainland's 11 service sector will open wider to Hong Kong companies, and another eight sectors will open to Hong Kong companies.

  Encouraged by the implementation of CEPA since the beginning ofthis year, Beijing has registered an increase of Hong Kong's investment to its service sectors. In the first five months this year, 47 CEPA related Hong Kong enterprises settled in Beijing, with a contracted investment of 100 million US dollars.

  The first Hong Kong solely founded advertising company, first travel service and first cinema company have appeared in Beijing during the same period.

  Tung Chee Hwa stressed that the importance of Beijing-Hong Kongeconomic cooperation has go beyond the two cities. The fruitful bilateral cooperation may become a dynamic force for pushing aheadwith the development of Bohai Sea-rim economic region and the Pearl River Delta Region.
 

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