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Senior Official Meets HK Bankers
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Vice Premier Huang Ju on Wednesday promised sustained support for Hong Kong banks in the mainland in a meeting with a group of HK banking executives in Shanghai.

"The central government will continue to support Hong Kong banks to expand their businesses in the mainland," said Huang, a high ranking Communist Party official.

"It is essential to enhance the financial cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong. This will guarantee the lasting prosperity of Hong Kong's economy," Huang said.

The vice premier told the group, headed by Joseph Yam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, that the mainland will also cooperate more with HK's banking regulatory body to ensure the smooth operation of Hong Kong banks on the mainland.

Huang said the central government would push forward financial reforms and gradually open the financial sector to the outside world.

Under China's commitment to World Trade Organization (WTO), the country will fully open its banking sector to foreign banks by the end of this year.

(Xinhua News Agency November 16, 2006)

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