Chinese mainland will open five more cities to individual travel program to Hong Kong starting this May, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced Tuesday.
At a press conference held shortly after the annual session of China's parliament was closed, the premier said 38 mainland cities have already joined the scheme.
The mainland has forged a closer economic partnership with Hong Kong over the past few years, he said, adding that some infrastructural facilities linking Hong Kong and the mainland are under construction of some others is being stepped up.
Noting that Hong Kong has become the fourth largest trade partner of the mainland, the mainland has so far opened 27 service and trade sectors to Hong Kong covering finance, accounting and legal affairs in a bid to give more convenient market access to Hong Kong companies, the premier said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2006)