Business leaders and academics ready for five-year-plan summit

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2006, 12:00am

Thirty business, academic and community leaders will meet next month to gather ideas on how Hong Kong can develop under Beijing's 11th five-year plan.

Participants in the September 11 meeting, called by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, will also look for ways the city can be a more effective intermediary for China's development.

A government source says a key agenda item will be how Hong Kong can maintain its role as a financial centre in light of a growing challenge from Shanghai.

Cathay Pacific chairman Philip Chen Nan-lok, HSBC chairman Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen, Airport Authority and Li and Fung group chairman Victor Fung Kwok-king and Executive Council convenor Leung Chun-ying are among those invited. But there will be no representatives of political parties.

The government source said three or four working groups would be set up to follow up on the ideas. 'Those groups will take three months to work out an action agenda for the chief executive,' the source said. The plan would form part of Mr Tsang's re-election platform next year.

A senior government official said the meeting would also focus department heads' attention on the five-year plan's importance for Hong Kong's development.

'It is a good opportunity for them to take the plan into account in formulating their policies.'

Mr Tsang's plan for a 'summit' on the five-year plan was announced in mid-May, prompting legislators to question the meeting's effectiveness.

Topics include Hong Kong's role as an international financial centre in light of the yuan's progress towards free convertibility; better co-ordination of industrial sectors on both sides of the border; how to promote innovative technology in concert with mainland efforts; and a new way to reinforce the city's status as an international financial, trade and shipping hub.



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