When Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng reflects on his whirlwind tour of Hong Kong the highlight will surely be yesterday's triumphant moment when he lifted his and the chief executive's arm in a gesture of triumph. It was an eloquent signal, as he stood flanked by his vice-mayors, other senior officials from the Shanghai municipal government and Tung Chee-hwa, at the closing press conference of his visit. The youthful and dynamic-looking Mr Han had come and asked for Hong Kong's help to develop Shanghai into a modern city and economic powerhouse. And this he got. The two leaders yesterday unveiled a framework for closer economic and trade ties between the two cities. Later, the reception Mr Han received from Hong Kong's tycoons and government officials must have exceeded even his greatest expectations. He was met by a veritable who's who of the city. They included Cheung Kong Holdings chairman Li Ka-shing, Hang Lung Development's Ronnie Chan Chi-chung, New World Development's Cheng Yu-tung and Sun Hung Kai Properties vice-chairman Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong, among others. They all attended a symposium given by Mr Han to outline Shanghai's plans for development. Sharply dressed in a well-cut dark suit and red tie, the bespectacled Shanghai mayor moved among the tycoons as an honoured guest. Soothing fears that Hong Kong would be replaced by Shanghai as a leading economic centre, Mr Han pointed out that the two cities were already close partners and friends. Even during the dark days of Sars, he said, Hong Kong remained Shanghai's leading investor. 'A friend in need is a friend indeed,' proclaimed the bold characters in a slideshow accompanying Mr Han's speech. Even when answering difficult questions regarding the fate of jailed property tycoon Chau Ching-ngai, who had been linked to senior Shanghai officials, he remained smiling and charming. In contrast, Mr Tung appeared haggard, snapping at a reporter who asked him to repeat some answers in English.