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HK, Shaanxi need to boost clout: Leung

By Duan Ting in Hong Kong | HK Edition | Updated: 2017-11-15 07:06
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Ex-CE urges deeper cooperation with province to lift business, trade

Hong Kong and Shaanxi province could deepen cooperation and give full play to each other's strengths, Leung Chun-ying, former HKSAR chief executive and now vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a meeting held in conjunction with the Seventh Shaanxi-Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Economic Cooperation Week, he cited the Economic and Trade Cooperation Exchange Meeting between Shaanxi and Hong Kong, saying Hong Kong, as a highly international and open city, enjoys close cooperation with provinces on the Chinese mainland and is eager to explore deeper collaboration.

Such links fit in well with the current trend of globalization, creating new directions and opportunities.

Leung said the SAR could offer its professional experience in various fields, including the financial, trading and legal sectors. He noted that trade is Hong Kong's key industry, with trade and logistics accounting for 25 percent of the city's GDP, and Hong Kong has a strong international trade network, while technology and manufacturing have been developing dramatically in Shaanxi.

Wei Zengjun, Shaanxi's deputy governor, said Hong Kong has become the northwestern province's most important overseas investment source, and plays a key role in Shaanxi's fast economic development.

By the third quarter of this year, Hong Kong had invested in 2,699 enterprises in Shaanxi, accounting for 43.6 percent of the province's total number of businesses, with an accumulated investment expenditure of $15.99 billion. This covers 41.2 percent of total investments in areas that include trade, catering, processing and manufacturing, and property, according to Wei.

He also said that in the past five years, Shaanxi's average economic growth had surged 9.8 percent year-on-year to 1.92 trillion yuan ($290 billion), driven by the promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative and the new round of development of the country's western regions. This year, the province's GDP is estimated at more than 2 trillion yuan.

At the meeting, companies from Shaanxi, Guangdong province and Hong Kong signed contracts for 12 new projects valued at $3.85 billion.

(HK Edition 11/15/2017 page17)

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