Vice-Premier Wu Yi affirmed Sunday that the central government attaches great importance to the stability and development of Hong Kong and Macao and would create favorable conditions for the two regions to establish a Close Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with the mainland on an equal footing.
Wu made the remark in separate meetings with Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Tung Chee Hwa and Macao SAR Chief Executive Ho Hau Wah, who headed delegations to attend the Seventh China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) slated to begin Monday in Xiamen of east China's Fujian Province.
Wu pledged that the central government would firmly back the efforts made by the Hong Kong SAR government under Tung's leadership to boost Hong Kong's economic development and safeguard the region's stability.
The mainland has strong interactive economic and trade ties with Hong Kong, Wu said, adding that the relevant departments of the central government are sparing no efforts to push forward the smooth implementation of the CEPA.
Wu also spoke highly of Macao's economic and social development in her meeting with Ho Hau Wah. She said the consultations for Macao to establish a CEPA relationship with the mainland area were “proceeding smoothly".
Establishing the CEPA with Hong Kong and Macao is a significant measure that the central government has adopted to boost the regions' economic growth and will play a positive and profound role in the economic development of the two regions, Wu said.
Tung and Ho both agreed with Wu's views and expressed confidence in further promoting Hong Kong and Macao's economic prosperity and safeguarding the local social stability.
(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2003)