Headline News


Chinese Premier pledges support to Hong Kong, Macao in tackling crisis

Source: Xinhua | 03-13-2009 14:16

Special Report:   2009 NPC & CPPCC Sessions

BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday promised that the central government would employ several measures to help Hong Kong and Macao tackle the ongoing financial crisis.

A plan for the settlement of trade in the yuan has been formulated and the central government will see to it that the plan will be carried out as quickly as possible once it is approved by the State Council, or Cabinet, Wen said.

"A supplement agreement to the CEPA between the mainland and Hong Kong will be signed, which will further increase the access to the mainland market for the services sector in Hong Kong," he told the press following the closing of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body.

CEPA, or Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, was signed in 2003 between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Central Government on opening the mainland market to Hong Kong products and services.

Furthermore, Wen noted that the central government would also accelerate the infrastructure constructions connecting the mainland and the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao.

The financing problem legging the Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao bridge project has already been resolved, he said, adding, "preparations are now being made very intensively and construction will start before the end of this year."

The bridge, with an estimated investment of 72.6 billion yuan (10.6 billion U.S. dollars), will serve as an important channel linking the three areas.

Wen said the central government has already approved the long-term plan for the reform and development in the Pearl River Delta region, which will benefit two special administrative regions and some of the most economically-developed cities in the mainland.

In order to encourage the appropriate diversification development of Macao, the central government has also prepared to introduce new steps, Wen said without elaboration.

The central government have the confidence in tackling the international financial crisis, Wen said, believing that Hong Kong and Macao are able to overcome difficulties and maintain prosperity and stability.

"The motherland is always the strongest supporter to Hong Kong and Macao, and we will do our best to help the economic development of the two special administrative regions," said Wen.


Editor:Zhang Ning