Oct. 6 (Reuters) – Here are highlights of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s annual political speech on Wednesday, the last of her current term, setting out the priorities for the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997. read more
– Hong Kong is back on the right track of “one country, two systems” and governance has returned to normal under the protection of the National Security Act and the principle of “patriots running Hong Kong”.
– The city government will proactively advance the promulgation of local legislation to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law in Hong Kong.
– The government will strengthen national security education and sensitize Hong Kong people to law enforcement and national security, especially young people, through different activities and approaches.
– Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), as a public service broadcaster, should play an active role in promoting the Constitution and Basic Law, and fostering a sense of citizenship and national identity.
– The government will introduce corresponding amendments to the Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance in order to fulfill Hong Kong’s constitutional responsibility.
– Strengthen the rule of law. A rule of law database with objective data will be created to help assess the rule of law and facilitate research and capacity building.
– The government will develop a new metropolitan area in northern Hong Kong for people to live, work and travel.
– Covering an area of 300 square kilometers, the proposed metropolis will cover the economic belt of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong border checkpoints, as well as the deeper hinterland.
– The northern metropolis will be developed as an international hub of information technology and technology, and the port metropolis will support Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center.
– A certain number of development projects planned or being planned in the Northern Metropolis are estimated at around 350,000 residential units.
– Additional land of around 600 hectares could be developed in the Northern Metropolis for residential and industrial purposes, with an estimated supply of 165,000 to 186,000 residential units.
– During the complete development of the entire Northern Metropolis, a total of 905,000 to 926,000 residential units will be available to accommodate a population of approximately 2.5 million inhabitants.
– The total number of jobs in the Metropolis will drop from 116,000 currently to around 650,000, including 150,000 jobs related to I&T.
– The government revised the distribution of public / private housing from 60:40 to 70:30 in 2018 to further intensify its political efforts to build more public housing units and identify land
– The government has identified around 350 hectares of land for 330,000 public housing units for the next 10-year period, from fiscal year 2022-2023 to 2031-32, in order to meet the demand for public housing estimated at 301 000 units during the period.
– The production of social housing in the five-year term of this government will reach 96,500 units, an increase of 30,000 units compared to the previous five-year term.
– On private housing, including railway land, the government will secure around 170 hectares of land over the next 10 years, and make land available to the market to build around 100,000 homes through land transfers or in competition with railway subdivisions.
– The government aims to increase the supply of transitional housing and proposes to increase the overall supply of transitional housing to 20,000 units over the next few years by providing 5,000 additional units, and to increase the amount of funding under the relevant financing program to HK $ 11.6 billion.
– Large-scale projects and projects under planning are expected to provide approximately 400,000 to 500,000 public and private dwellings in the medium and long term.
– With the 165,000 to 186,000 units that can be built on land newly identified as part of the development strategy of the northern metropolis, the housing supply can reach 565,000 to 686,000 units within 10 to 15 years after 2031-32.
– Strengthen Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center.
– The government will intensify its efforts to support the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited (HKEX) to improve the listing regime and establish a listing regime for special purpose acquisition companies in Hong Kong.
– Further extend the channels for the two-way flow of cross-border RMB funds and develop offshore RMB products and tools.
– Support the HKEX to promote cooperation with the Guangzhou Futures Exchange in the development of financial products related to the areas of carbon emissions trading, strengthening Hong Kong as a regional center of green and sustainable finance.
– Promote cross-border financial technologies (Fintech) to enable financial institutions and information and technology companies in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to test cross-border Fintech applications.
– The government is seeking to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and will seek to create more favorable conditions for Hong Kong companies to enter the mainland market under the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement between the mainland and Hong Kong (CEPA).
– The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is expanding the trade data exchange, which is expected to start operating next year, allowing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access more convenient financing services.
– Proposes to create an InnoLife Healthtech Hub with 16 life and health related laboratories in InnoHK research clusters and the eight key state laboratories in life and health disciplines as a base, to focus on related research.
– In technology, the government will make relevant investments by partnering with appropriate private equity firms, focusing on helping fast-growing I&T companies, including start-ups.
– Said that the construction of the three-runway system to increase capacity is a strategic investment to improve the competitiveness of Hong Kong International Airport. The commissioning of the third runway is scheduled for 2022 and full completion is scheduled for 2024.
– Says the government will continue to invest in infrastructure and that annual capital spending is expected to exceed HK $ 100 billion ($ 12.8 billion) in the coming years.
BUILD A CITY TO LIVE
– The government will soon announce a Hong Kong 2050 climate action plan, setting out carbon emission reduction measures to achieve carbon neutrality with intermediate decarbonization targets of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2035 , compared to the 2005 level.
– In order to achieve zero net carbon emissions for electricity production by 2050, the government has set a target of reducing the electricity consumption of commercial buildings by 30 to 40% and residential buildings by 20 to 30 % from 2015 level by 2050..
– The government has proposed measures to end new registrations of fuel-powered and hybrid passenger cars in or before 2035 and has set targets for installing charging stations.
– The government says to promote the development of public transport and electric utility vehicles and other new energies, including testing of hydrogen fuel cell buses, with a view to a roadmap and timetable for the use of new energy public transport in 2025.
– The government will spend around HK $ 240 billion on various climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.
– Recurrent social protection spending has increased significantly from HK $ 65.3 billion in 2017-18 to HK $ 105.7 billion in 2021-2022, an increase of 62% over four years.
– The size of the poor population in 2019 increased from 1.49 million before the intervention to 0.64 million, showing that the safety net helped to redistribute income by providing support to the base and coming out of poverty.
Reporting by Donny Kwok Editing by Robert Birsel
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