But provincial governor stresses that both sides must be involved in planning Guangdong governor Huang Huahua yesterday endorsed a proposal to develop the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border area into an industrial zone, but stressed both sides should be involved in planning. Mr Huang said in Japan that the zone had great potential, but added: 'There are many problems which Hong Kong and Shenzhen must deal with together'. He said that after a consensus was reached on any problems, development of the zone could proceed. Mr Huang also said the tourism trade between Hong Kong and Guangdong had boomed since the July 28 announcement that residents of eight cities in the province could visit the city individually instead of as part of tour groups. The remaining 13 cities in the province would be included in the scheme by the end of the year, he said. His comments came two days after Hong Kong Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said the government was considering turning the 1 sq-km border area into a free-trade zone, which Shenzhen residents could enter without a visa, but its use was yet to be determined. Concerns were raised about the site's development after a September visit to Beijing by Cheung Kong (Holdings) chairman Li Ka-shing, who met state leaders including President Hu Jintao. Mr Li put forward the idea of a tax-free industrial zone on the border site, saying it could attract investment and ease Hong Kong's unemployment problem. Mr Huang is in Tokyo for an unprecedented Guangdong-Hong Kong investment seminar. Mr Tang, who also attended the event, said: 'This is a valuable piece of land which is close to Shenzhen city centre. We have to discuss closely with Shenzhen authorities the best way to develop [the site].' He said the co-operation between the two places since the signing of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement provided an ideal platform for Japanese companies eyeing the mainland market. While saying the combination of Hong Kong's international business practices and Guangdong's highly skilled and low-cost workforce provided a 'winning combination' for Japanese firms looking to the mainland market, Mr Tang also stressed Hong Kong's unique status. 'If you want to combine an international physical environment with immediate access to mainland China, there's simply no match for Hong Kong,' he told a 1,000-strong audience at the seminar. Mr Huang, who was equally upbeat on the province's economic future, said: 'When it comes to 2020, GDP [gross domestic product] for the whole [Guangdong] province will be doubled.' Although Hong Kong and Guangdong act as partners in leading the economic development of the Pearl River Delta region, the two areas are also regarded as competitors for foreign investment.