By building on its strengths and giving its service sector a pivotal role, the city's rise is unstoppable, says Wen Jiabao Hong Kong can revitalise its economy by retaining its strengths as a free economy and enhancing its lure to foreign investors, Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday. 'I'm convinced that nothing can stop Hong Kong's march towards greater prosperity and progress,' he said after arriving in Hong Kong. 'Hong Kong, the glittering pearl of the motherland, will shine even more brilliantly in the future,' he said. However, he called for a readjustment of Hong Kong's economic structure by developing high value-added industries with the service sector continuing to play a pivotal role in the city's economy. The premier said the problems faced by Hong Kong's economy, such as high unemployment and a spiralling fiscal deficit, were symptomatic of an unhealthy economic structure. 'We should not overlook our difficulties and we must not lose sight of Hong Kong's inherent advantages and potential.' He said Hong Kong had many strengths, including its status as an international financial and shipping hub, with an advanced market system and a sound legal system. 'Hong Kong's economy will certainly regain its vigour if it gives fuller play to its inherent advantages, retains its characteristics as a free economy, enhances its attractiveness to international investors and upgrades its global competitiveness,' Mr Wen said. He also promised that the central government would stick to existing policies towards Hong Kong. He highlighted the city's contribution to the mainland's economic development, saying China has attracted US$460 billion of foreign capital since 1978, 46 per cent of which came from Hong Kong. Mr Wen said Hong Kong had encountered many challenges since the handover. He praised the Hong Kong government headed by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa for steering clear of the brunt of the Asian financial crisis and maintaining economic and social stability. He said the government had responded to the Sars crisis with resolute measures. 'Thanks to the SAR government's relief packages, Hong Kong's economy is beginning to show signs of recovery.' While attending a crisis summit called by Asean leaders in April, Mr Wen side-stepped the question of whether Mr Tung should step down and called for people to be more 'understanding'. After the signing of the Cepa deal, Mr Wen said that the seven airports in the Pearl River Delta region appeared to be too many. 'Considering the rapid development of the road and water transport network in the delta, it seems there are too many airports in the region. There should be better co-ordination.' The premier also mentioned the plan to build a bridge linking Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai, but he did not say whether the central government had endorsed the project.