HK told to clean up its act in delta
Factory owners have a duty to reduce pollution, says business council chief
Hong Kong has 'a duty and an opportunity' to reduce the impact on the environment from its factories in the Pearl River Delta, business council chairman Victor Fung Kwok-king said.
'Hong Kong owns and operates over 70,000 factories in the Pearl River Delta, so it's only natural for Hong Kong and the PRD to be concerned about air pollution,' he said after a meeting of the Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council.
'Businesses need to be more proactive and push for better education on producing more efficiently to minimise the impact on the environment. This is something that must be done.'
Mr Fung has been reappointed as the council's chairman for another two years.
To tackle the pollution issue, the council has set up a sustainable development subgroup headed by Executive Councillor Cheng Yiu-tong to oversee its work in this area.
It will be joined by four other specialised subgroups: the cross-boundary passenger and cargo flow subgroup led by lawmaker Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen; the joint investment and trade promotion subgroup under Jardines managing director Anthony Nightingale; the technology, education and human resources subgroup under former Central Policy Unit chief Edgar Cheng Wai-kin; and the services industry development subgroup under former Law Society president Simon Ip Shing-hing.
Mr Fung said Hong Kong's services sector needed to look beyond what the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with the mainland offered and explore ways to better complement Guangdong's development of carmaking and other heavy industries.
Two task groups have also been formed to look specifically at this industrial restructuring of Guangdong and its impact on Hong Kong and at the development of the western Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong.
The groups will be convened by Trade Development Council executive director Frederick Lam Tin-fuk and Orient Overseas (International) chairman Tung Chee-chen respectively.
The new bodies' work goes far beyond the scope of the council's original mandate - a reflection of the impact of Guangdong's rapid growth and the westward industrialisation of the Pearl River Delta on Hong Kong's evolving economy.
When it was set up in March 2004, the council's principal stated goal was forging investment and business ties between Guangdong and Hong Kong companies.