Donald Tsang

Tsang drumming up business in Guangxi

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 June, 2006, 12:00am

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen whistles, and it seems the Guangxi autonomous region dances to his tune.

A smiling Mr Tsang flew into the region's capital Nanning yesterday, leading an 80-strong delegation of government officials and business leaders.

He was given a pomp-filled welcome at Nanning airport, greeted by ethnic dance troupes and children with bouquets.

Mr Tsang is on a two-day visit to tour enterprises and attend a business co-operation symposium.

Stormy weather did nothing to dampen his spirits and he was clearly in his element.

In his favourite role as trusted middleman for mainland officials and Hong Kong business elites, he promised his visit would be mutually beneficial.

'There are many business opportunities for us to co-operate in. Hong Kong capital and expertise could help Guangxi develop its economy. On the other hand, Guangxi's rich natural resources and labour market will provide new ground for Hong Kong investors,' he said.

As Hong Kong is the largest destination for its exports and the chief source of foreign investment, the Guangxi government is eager to dance to Mr Tsang's tune.

Cao Bochun , the region's party secretary, who bear-hugged Mr Tsang and called him 'my old friend', said: 'We should make good use of the opportunities brought by the pan-Pearl River Delta co-operation and the China-Asean free-trade zone.

'We believe Mr Tsang's visit will help strengthen our economic ties.'

Mr Tsang visited a Hong Kong-funded Chinese medicine factory and a modern farm. Clearly enjoying himself, Mr Tsang and his wife, Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei, marvelled at super-sized vegetables and drank a medicinal tea famed for curing coughs.

But domestic troubles were never far away. Asked how effective the medicine was, he said: 'I have to test it during the Legco sessions to see if it really works.'