The government has apparently shifted its stance on a proposal by Li Ka-shing to set up a tax-free industrial zone along the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border, saying it would consider any plan which would help raise employment and benefit the economy. Asked about Mr Li's proposal yesterday, Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen gave a reply different from Commerce, Industry and Technology chief John Tsang Chun-wah. 'I can offer a unified reply to you and that is that the government would actively consider any plan which has a positive effect on employment and economic development,' he said. On Monday, Mr Tsang told the media the government had no plans to set up a special zone at the border for industrial development. Mr Tsang reportedly said Hong Kong could not turn back the clock to the high time of plastic flowers manufacturing. The remarks were widely seen as provocative as Mr Li, chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings), first began his business in plastic flowers. The tax-free zone was first raised by Mr Li during a visit with state leaders in Beijing last weekend. He believed the establishment of an industrial zone on the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border would attract investment and ease unemployment. Mr Tang said there had been mixed views on whether to use tax concessions to encourage investment. He said he had yet to come to a final view, but added the government would consider any projects helpful to the economy.