Guangdong governor sees room to improve cross-border efforts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 12:00am

A day after being elected Guangdong's new governor, Huang Huahua has pledged to step up co-operation with Hong Kong in a number of key areas, including the four 'pillar industries' identified by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa.

Mr Huang said yesterday there was 'great potential' for the province and special administrative region to co-operate in finance, services, logistics and tourism.

'Guangdong-Hong Kong co-operation is very good. In future, we will step this up,' said Mr Huang, in his first public remarks on cross-border links since his election at the 10th Guangdong People's Congress on Monday. He was taking Hong Kong reporters' questions at the close of the congress.

Outgoing congress president Zhu Shenlin echoed Mr Huang's views and said he expected more interaction among the governments and people of both sides.

Although Mr Huang did not mention Guangdong-Hong Kong relations in his speech, delegates said it would be one of the main priorities of the government in the next five years. But it will not be the only one, they said, as overseeing development of the Pearl River Delta and co-ordinating the roles of various other cities in the region would be time-consuming tasks.

Shenzhen delegate Wen Simei was upbeat on cross-border prospects. But he added: 'We hope that there will be more communication between provincial and SAR leaders to reach consensus and find areas of co-operation.'

In his closing remarks to the congress, Mr Huang spoke of the heavy demands of the job and his own feelings of inadequacy.

'I feel deeply the heavy responsibility of this position. We need to recognise what we are capable of,' he said, quoting a Chinese idiom. 'I know I have many inadequacies in ideology, knowledge, leadership experience and work ability, that fall short of the requirements of this job.'

Yang Weihua, dean of Zhongshan University's finance and taxation department and an observer at the congress, said he believed Mr Huang was not mouthing platitudes. 'I believe he is humble and sincere.'