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Chinese vice premier's HK visit to open more doors of opportunity

08-16-2011 13:47 BJT

BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Vice Premier Li Keqiang starts his three-day official visit to Hong Kong on Tuesday, a visit which officials and experts believe signals the central government's commitment to create more business and investment opportunities.

This is the first time Li has visited Hong Kong since he became vice-premier in 2008.

He is leading a big delegation, which includes heads of the nation's major ministries - Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, Chen Deming, minister of commerce, and Zhang Ping, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.

"This is really a high-profile visit and a large-scale team which consists of many big names in China," said Chen Wenling, chief economist of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and a senior expert on Hong Kong issues.

"All sides from Hong Kong are highly interested in Li's visit this time, and are filled with expectation."

An important part of Li's visit is attending Wednesday's forum on China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) and the economic, trade and financial development between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, where he will make a keynote speech and clarify how the region could benefit from the country's implementation of the five-year plan.

Hong Kong is included for the first time in China's five-year plan. Premier Wen Jiabao said the central government will help improve Hong Kong's position as an international financial, shipping and trade center, including developing the region into an offshore yuan center, and promoting closer economic and trade cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong.

Executive Councilor Cheng Yiu-tong, also a deputy to the National People's Congress, said Li's visit might bring good cheer to Hong Kong.

"It is a mutually beneficial five-year plan that will be crucial to future planning for both the mainland and Hong Kong. Since Li is in charge of economic affairs, he is the right person to speak about the national blueprint," Cheng said.

"And again, the visit of a State official shows the care and support of the central government."

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