Shenzhen Vows Close Port, Air Links With HK

Shenzhen Mayor Yu Youjun yesterday pledged to strengthen all-round cooperations with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on port and air transportation.

Yu made the remarks in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, when addressing consuls from 13 countries such as the United States and Japan.

"We are striving to become one of the most important container ports in the world after joining hands with the Hong Kong port," Yu said.

The mayor noted Shenzhen, the mainland's second container port next only to Shanghai, will play a more active role in replenishing the Hong Kong port with more container berths and new sea routes.

Furthermore, all-round cooperations regarding passenger transport and freight at Hong Kong's airport are also being negotiated between the two sides.

"We invite the Hong Kong airport to become a shareholder of the Shenzhen airport," Yu said.

Shenzhen aims to expand and enhance its air freight industry by inviting airline companies from both home and abroad, as well as multinational commodity exchange companies and freight agents to be stationed in Shenzhen airport.

"It will become evident in the future that aeroplanes from Hong Kong to the mainland will be transferred at Shenzhen and flights from Shenzhen abroad will be diverted at Hong Kong," Yu said.

Shenzhen and Hong Kong will both benefit from integrating wealth and resources with each other.

"Of course Hong Kong is more developed than us. But we also have our own advantages," the mayor said.

The high-tech industry in Shenzhen stands for 44 per cent of the city's whole industry, ranking it first amongst all of the cities in the Chinese mainland.

A high-tech industry zone with an investment of 100 billion yuan (US$12 billion) and an area of 20 square kilometres is now under construction.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of Shenzhen grew at 12.7 per cent in the first 11 months of this year, surpassing 165 billion yuan (US$20 billion).

Effective measures have been taken in Shenzhen to make communications with Hong Kong more convenient.

(China Daily December 21, 2001)