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In Brief

unionist wants surplus to reduce wealth gap

Unionist lawmaker Kwong Chi-kin will move a motion in the Legislative Council tomorrow calling on the government to use its budget surplus in the past financial year to reduce the wealth gap. The motion, which has brought six amendments from legislators from all major political parties, including the Democratic Party and Liberal Party, said the $14 billion surplus should also be used to stimulate the economy and increase employment opportunities.

Liberal Party chief James Tien Pei-chun said the government should revert the salaries tax rate to the 2002-03 level. Legislators have been calling on the administration to increase spending, after the final accounts showed the $14 billion surplus, well above the $4.1 billion forecast in Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen's latest budget.

Finance chief highlights china business chances

Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen told an audience in Auckland, New Zealand, of business opportunities in southern China. He said the pan-Pearl River Delta region was a huge production base with a population of 460 million and a vast potential market. Mr Tang aims to use a 10-day tour of Australasia, which began yesterday, to promote Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with mainland enterprises.

public to be quizzed on west kowloon museums

The public will be asked to give its views on the need for museums and related facilities at the West Kowloon Cultural District at forums being held on May 29 and 30. Separately, the performing arts and tourism advisory groups will hold two forums on June 1 and 2 to discuss the performing arts facilities for the cultural area.

campaign to promote research centres

The government is to launch a publicity campaign to promote Hong Kong's research and development centres in Guangdong. The 10-day exercise, with a seminar and roadshow, is being staged by the Innovation and Technology Commission and the Guangdong Department of Science and Technology.