Development of Lantau welcomed, seen as long-term plan
Sandy Li and Peggy Sito
The proposed development of Lantau Island into another core business district was welcomed by analysts and property consultants.
The island will become an essential connecting point for journeys to and from Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau after the completion of the bridge linking the two special administrative regions and Macau’s neighbour Zhuhai in 2016 and the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok road link in 2018.
Ringo Lam, director of valuation at AG Wilkinson & Associates, said the most interesting part of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s policy speech on Wednesday was the idea of developing Lantau.
“But this must be a very long-term plan, as the business district in Kowloon East is just being developed,” Lam said.
Leung announced a Lantau Development Advisory Committee had been set up to develop an East Lantau Metropolis to accommodate growth in Hong Kong’s population.
“It will become a core business district in addition to Central and Kowloon East for promoting economic development and providing job opportunities,” he said in his second policy speech.
The secretary for development, working with other government offices, will seek proposals through the committee to capitalise on the benefits brought by major infrastructure projects in the area and the synergy between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, while striking a balance between development and conservation, Leung said.
“What is new is the development of Lantau Island, but Leung’s different ways of looking for land are more or less the same as last year,” said Alfred Lau, an analyst at Bocom International.
Lau said it shows the government’s commitment to exploring the development potential of the outlying islands.