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Continuous Service at HK Border to Go Ahead
The long-expected 24-hour border crossing service between Hong Kong and the neighboring city of Shenzhen will be launched in late January, said Hong Kong Chief Secretary for Administration Donald Tsang.

Tsang Tuesday visited the Hong Kong and Macao Office under the State Council in Beijing, where he and officials there discussed the issues of streamlining the border services in a bid to promote trade and business exchanges between Hong Kong and the mainland.

"We agreed that the new service should start at the Luomazhou/Huanggang checkpoint three to five days before Spring Festival (February 1)," said Tsang.

To raise efficiency at the border crossing, the two sides agreed that the time passengers spend at the checkpoint should be reduced to half an hour, 15 minutes on each side. The time for cargo vehicles should drop to one hour, half an hour on each side.

He said the two sides are now assigning people to work on the scheme. The exact starting date and details will be announced by the end of this year, he added.

The working hours at the Luohu and Huanggang checkpoints are 6:30 am to 12:30 pm. The idea of a 24-hour border crossing was raised two or three years ago, as the flow of people crossing the border increased.

An average of 343,000 people crossed the border each day in the first nine months of this year, 90 per cent of them from the Luohu/Luomazhou checkpoint.

(Southcn.com December 25, 2002)

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