SHENZHEN'S mayor Mr Li Youwei said the special economic zone and Hongkong could seek joint development to become the powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific economy. Striving to become the window of China, Shenzhen will not threaten the special status of Hongkong, Mr Li said, adding the development of the two areas could be complimentary and mutually beneficial. ''There are no mutual conflict and contradiction between the two places,'' Mr Li said. ''For instance, the Huangtian Airport [in Shenzhen] could help alleviate the already-saturated airport of Hongkong. The same is also true for Yantian Port, which will help reduce the burden on Hongkong's container ports.'' Mr Li said companies from the two places could also be listed in the stock markets of both cities. ''It will not damage the growth of each other but further promote it. The faster the economic development in Shenzhen the more will be the advantages to Hongkong's stability and prosperity.'' Mr Li said the city has mapped out its development strategy to the year 2000 to become an export-oriented, international city. ''The goal is to serve as a window for the hinterland so that the domestic and international markets could be linked together,'' he said. In spite of the national strategy of an ''all-directional'' opening, Mr Li said they were not worried about the competition from other regions. ''The wider the openness of the country, the greater the pressure for us to upgrade our standard and range of products,'' he said. Mr Li said the SEZ would take the lead to pioneer reforms to replace the planned economy by the market economy. ''It will be no onerous task to redirect the methods of allocation of resources from administrative measures to market-oriented measures,'' he said. ''At stake are the readjustment of power and interests.'' Maintaining that the reform bid by the former Soviet Union was a failure, Mr Li said China's experiment has been based on the practical conditions of the country and conducted step by step. Looking ahead, he said the city would take bolder steps to ''perfect the system for the market economy'' in order to give a full play to market force. ''By doing so, it will help to make the Chinese economy keep in line with the international market,'' Mr Li said. He said the SEZ would formulate laws governing the securities, stock and property market this year. Shenzhen plans to complete the drafting of a set of 84 laws and regulations on the operation of the market economy in three years.