Guangdong and HK agree to give clearer picture on smog and discuss food safety Guangdong and Hong Kong will issue daily air quality data for the Pearl River Delta as part of measures to tackle the choking smog that often blankets the region. The move is likely to give a much clearer picture of the source of the pollution that has become a major issue in talks between the two sides. As part of a package of co-operation measures agreed at the Hong Kong-Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference yesterday, companies on both sides of the border will also come under pressure to sign a clean-air charter pledging to take action to reduce emissions. Also agreed at the meeting in Hong Kong, headed by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua , was the establishment of a food safety notification system, in the wake of health scares involving food from Guangdong. Officials will communicate directly instead of via Beijing. Cross-border trucking regulations are also to be relaxed, giving trucking companies more flexibility in assigning drivers to vehicles. The agreements follow a call two weeks ago from Premier Wen Jiabao for Shenzhen to step up co-operation with Hong Kong. Mr Wen said it was the neighbouring city's 'unshirkable responsibility' to support the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. The air quality data for the delta region will be released daily in Hong Kong and Guangdong by the end of the year. The two governments will also release a report on air quality every six months. The data will come from a network of monitoring stations, including three in Hong Kong. It is expected the data from each station will be listed, giving a clear indication of the source of the pollution. That has been a cause of contention, with critics accusing Hong Kong authorities of using Guangdong's pollution spillover as an excuse for failing to tackle emissions. Creating the monitoring network was one of the recommendations in a 2002 cross-border air-pollution study. The two sides said they hoped to achieve agreed targets for reducing emissions of air pollutants by 2010. Environmentalists gave the plans a wary response. 'It [might] not begin as scheduled because the reduction targets have to be adjusted amid the current power shortage,' said Man Chi-sum, chief executive officer of Green Power. Power stations are one of the main sources of pollution. On food safety, the administrations agreed to exchange information in advance of introducing significant measures and policies, and reached initial agreement on exploring the establishment of a day-to-day notification system. A spokesman for the city's Health, Welfare and Food Bureau said: 'It will be a more direct communication and benefit Hong Kong.' Guangdong also promised to inform Hong Kong of major food incidents which may not directly relate to the city, such as the recall of pork in Shenzhen in August. But medical sector legislator Kwok Ka-ki said he was disappointed. 'There should be a common platform, for example on the internet, for Hong Kong and Guangdong to report their food incidents or infectious diseases outbreaks immediately,' he said.