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HK-Macao-Zhuhai Bridge to Be Built Soon
Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa said Wednesday a bridge linking the territory with neighboring Macau and Zhuhai across the Pearl River Delta will be built soon.

Tung said in his policy address that "a bridge linking Hong Kong to Macau and the western part of the PRD (Pearl River Delta) will be of strategic importance to the development of the whole region".

"I believe the bridge will be built as soon as possible through the joint efforts" with neighbouring Guangdong and Macau after a feasibility study is carried out, said Tung.

He said the central government in Beijing had already instructed the state development planning commission to carry out a detailed feasibility study, adding "we will do our best to facilitate it".

The proposed bridge is being considered as a way of easing congestion at border crossings between Hong Kong and China.

The bridge is seen as important to Hong Kong's future economic development.

Tung also urged Hong Kong to seize the opportunities presented by the rapid opening up of the mainland Chinese economy, and position itself as a major hub linking China to foreign markets.

In his policy address, Tung noted China had reaped huge trade benefits since entering the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the end of 2001 and stressed the need to boost trade ties, particularly in the Pearl River Delta region, to tap advantages.

"We must seize these opportunities to elevate Hong Kong from its traditional role as an intermediary to a major hub connecting the mainland and the international markets.

"A city is simply not enough to compete on its own," Tung noted. "To advance its competitive edge, Hong Kong must pool its strengths with other cities in the region," in particular neighbouring Guangdong province.

Hong Kong was a renowned international centre of finance, business and logistics, while the PRD was the fastest growing manufacturing base in the world, he said adding closer calloboration between the two regions would reap significant mutual benefits.

"We should make the PRD the economic hinterland supporting development in the rest of the country. In turn the PRD can use Hong Kong strengths to elevate its status and competitiveness to become a global player."

(China Daily January 9, 2003)

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