SAR talks to boost regional ties
CHAN YEE HON in Fuzhou
Talks on how Fujian, Taiwan and Hong Kong can strengthen co-operation will be held in the SAR in the first half of this year.
The seminar will also discuss the impact of the financial turmoil in Southeast Asia.
The decision to hold the seminar was made yesterday at the annual conference of the Committee to Promote Economic Co-operation between Fujian and Hong Kong.
Fujian has been hit hard by the financial crisis, particularly in outside investment and tourism.
Fuzhou Deputy Mayor Liu Yongzhao yesterday admitted the enthusiasm of overseas Chinese investors had suffered and Min Ming, director of the Fujian Provincial Tourism Bureau, said tourist arrivals from Southeast Asian countries in the first 11 months of last year had dropped.
Provincial leaders of Fujian, including the Party Secretary Chen Mingyi, Governor He Guoqiang and Chairman You Dexin of the provincial Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), all attended the annual conference.
It took place as members of the provincial CPPCC held their annual meeting in Fuzhou.
The Fujian People's Congress annual session is due to open today.
Prominent Hong Kong delegates to the committee conference included Yau Hung-tah, Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, and Hong Kong members of the provincial CPPCC including Sze Cheung-peng and Choi So-yuk.
The SAR seminar will be attended by 100 representatives, with virtually equal numbers from Fujian, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The Committee to Promote Economic Co-operation between Fujian and Hong Kong was formed last year when Governor He visited the SAR to take part in the conference of International Monetary Fund.
Apart from the seminar, another key task for the committee this year is to study six chosen topics to promote co-operation between the three areas and to formulate a development strategy for Fujian.
Revamps of state firms, financial co-operation, the impact of the regional financial turmoil on Hong Kong and Fujian and the SAR's bridging role in financial co-operation will be studied.