Private-sector role urged for key public projects The government could make huge savings if key public projects like hospitals were financed and built by the private sector, the Hong Kong Construction Industry Association says. Billy Wong Wing-ho, the association's chairman, James Tien Pei-chun, the chairman of the Liberal Party, and a European banker specialising in such initiatives met Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen yesterday to discuss the idea. Bid to help companies with Cepa regulations One-stop services for Hong Kong enterprises interested in taking advantage of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement will be provided by the government before the end of the year. Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology John Tsang Chun-wah said the service would be ready before January 1, when 273 products imported into the mainland will be exempted from tariffs. Democrats' visit to Beijing questioned Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office deputy director Chen Zuoer yesterday questioned the Democrats' intention to visit Beijing. He was quoted as making the remarks after meeting 30 senior representatives from major news media in Hong Kong. They will meet mainland leaders tomorrow. The Democrats have written to the mainland requesting talks with the central government. Blackmail gangs are smashed in Shenzhen Shenzhen police have smashed gangs who used young women to lure Hong Kong men to their homes where they were robbed and blackmailed. Fifteen men and three women believed to be members of two gangs operating in Lowu were arrested following a report made by a Hong Kong man who escaped after he was stabbed, robbed and held for a $150,000 ransom.