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HK chief in Beijing for wide-ranging talks

By Willa Wu in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-07 08:40

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, chief executive of Hong Kong, told reporters before flying to Beijing on Sunday that she will discuss concrete measures to enhance her city's role in the Belt and Road Initiative during her first official visit to the capital since assuming office.

Lam discussed the main purposes of her visit, including plans to push development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and policies to help Hong Kong people work, study and live in the mainland.

She said she would also communicate with mainland authorities on optimizing arrangements for a West Kowloon terminus for the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail link, after having received feedback from the Hong Kong public. The plan, announced by the government of the special administrative region on July 25, is to provide passengers with one-stop services to go through border controls, including Hong Kong and mainland customs, immigration and quarantine.

HK chief in Beijing for wide-ranging talks

Lam's trip to Beijing, which will end on Wednesday, comes after her first overseas visits to Singapore and Bangkok from Aug 2 to 4, during which she aimed to enhance cooperation between Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Joe Chau Kwok-ming, president of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Small and Medium Business, said he hoped Lam would bring back the latest information on investing in the mainland and overseas.

Chau noted that many small and medium-sized enterprises in Hong Kong had limited access to, and outdated information about, regions and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

He suggested Hong Kong's economic and trade offices get regular updates from the Ministry of Commerce, such as changes in the political landscape, laws and regulations.

Lam said earlier that the new Hong Kong government has achieved several goals since its inauguration on July 1, including getting approval from the Legislative Council to put an additional HK$5 billion ($639 million) toward education.

Youth exchanges have been a focus for Lam's government. More than 20,000 young people from Hong Kong have taken part in government-funded mainland exchange programs in the past year.

Now, 50 young people from the city are in internship programs in Beijing, as well as in Wolong, Sichuan province, and Dunhuang, Gansu province.

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