The government will organise seminars for local professionals in environmental services this month, to help them explore emerging markets locally and across the border, Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah said. Mr Yau said the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement had enabled such servicing companies to own and operate businesses on the mainland. That would increase their chances of tapping the growing demand for environmental services amid the economic transformation in Guangdong province. 'Hong Kong and Guangdong are strongly pushing forward energy efficiency and emission reduction,' he said. 'There is great room for these environmental professionals to organise themselves to cater to this rising demand.' Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced plans last week to further explore business opportunities for the environment industry, among others, in the global financial crisis. Mr Yau said some of the sector's professionals might be ready to pursue their advantages; but others might need to adjust their operations, or join forces, to tap the opportunities. The HK$450 million matching-fund scheme for energy and carbon audits and improvement works for local buildings, to be launched today, would be an opportunity for such firms to find business locally, he said. Across the border, Mr Yau said, the market was also growing gradually, after the introduction of the HK$93 million clean-production scheme. So far, 160 companies have participated in the programme. The scheme's success has encouraged Guangdong provincial and local authorities to roll out similar incentive programmes, which would increase the demand for environmental services. Mr Yau said green businesses were still taking shape in Hong Kong and across the border, and it was still difficult to know how big the market was. 'It is like a blind man who tries to feel the size of an elephant ... [he] can never tell how big the elephant is.'