Ranking government officials led by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (centre) attend a talk organized by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on the National 14th Five-Year Plan at the Central Government Offices on Aug 23, 2021. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
The nation's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) offers historic opportunities for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to further integrate into the country's national development, officials and scholars said on Monday.
A high-level central government delegation has begun briefings in the city on the blueprint. In the morning, two-and-a-half hours of talks were held with government officials and representatives from different sectors. In the afternoon, a two-hour seminar was held for lawmakers.
Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR, said in a speech that with the implementation of the 14th Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong has a new round of historic development opportunities, which it must firmly seize
The delegation comprises officials from departments including the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the People's Bank of China.
Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR, said in a speech that with the implementation of the 14th Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong has a new round of historic development opportunities, which it must firmly seize.
Luo said the plan sets out a series of major requirements for Hong Kong's development. They cover a wide spectrum, including politics, economics and culture.
Besides continuing to support Hong Kong enhancing its status as an international financial, transportation and trade center, the plan aims to strengthen the city's advantages in financial and legal services, and promote service industries for high-end development.
For the first time, it also supports Hong Kong enhancing its status as an international aviation hub and developing as an international innovation and technology hub, a regional intellectual property trading center and a hub for the arts and cultural exchanges.
Luo said Hong Kong's traditional advantages rely on its geographical connection to the Chinese mainland. "The biggest opportunity for global development lies in China, and the biggest opportunity for Hong Kong's development lies in the mainland," he said.
Luo said he hopes Hong Kong can make good use of the policy support offered by the plan, to open up a new future for the city's development.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the plan will bring the city "continuous vitality and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities".
She added that relying on the motherland and opening to the world are the preconditions for Hong Kong's future success.
Huang Liuquan, deputy head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said the 14th Five-Year Plan shows that the central government attaches great importance to the city's economic development and improving people's livelihoods.
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He called on Hong Kong officials to firmly grasp the significant opportunities in the plan for better development of the city.
HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said that relying on the motherland and opening to the world are the preconditions for Hong Kong's future success
Ning Jizhe, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in a video speech that with the nation's greater support, Hong Kong is sure to achieve greater development in such fields as financial services, digital transformation, innovative technology and green development.
Highlighting Hong Kong's role as a bridge between the mainland and the world, Ning said both can seek greater success by complementing each other's advantages.
During the talks, central government officials in charge of technology and financial affairs also expressed their confidence in Hong Kong's potential in the two areas. They added that more measures to support Hong Kong's further integration with national development in these areas will be rolled out.
The plan received positive responses from Hong Kong experts. Wong Yuk-shan, chairman of the Research Grants Council, said after the morning talks that he believes Hong Kong scientists can contribute more to the 14th Five-Year Plan, which has emphasized innovation and technology.
Executive Council member and economist Joseph Yam Chi-kwong highlighted the need for Hong Kong to play to its strength in the further internationalization of the renminbi in the capital market, particularly in the city's stock market.
Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, president of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, said at the afternoon seminar that it is widely accepted that the city can have a brighter future by further integration with national development.
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The legislature will join hands with the government to facilitate the integration process, he added.