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Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 18:00

HK can grow together with the nation: Zhang

By chinadailyasia.com

HK can grow together with the nation: Zhang

Top legislator Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Summit at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Wan Chai on Wednesday morning. (Photo / Xinhua)

HONG KONG - Top legislator Zhang Dejiang has urged Hong Kong to play a more active role in the nation’s development, and seize the opportunities under the strategic Belt and Road Initiative, while praising the SAR’s geographical and financial advantages and superiority as a free economy.

Delivering a keynote address at the inaugural Belt and Road Summit at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on Wednesday morning, Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, pledged the central government’s support for the HKSAR in building up its existing strengths and expanding economic and trade ties not only with the Chinese mainland, but also with the world.

He said the central government will support Hong Kong in building a services platform for the Belt and Road strategy that can provide accounting, design, consulting, legal and logistics services.

He would also like Hong Kong to strengthen its efforts in promoting the internationalization of renminbi.

In fostering people-to-people bonds, Zhang noted that Hong Kong has been an important window for cultural exchanges between East and West and for interaction among various civilizations. In this regard, he said the central government will further support Hong Kong in communicating with countries along the Belt and Road routes in various ways and deepen its cooperation and communication with the mainland.

Zhang described the Belt and Road blueprint as the answer to the “call of the times’ for world peace and development, saying it will contribute to the economic development of countries along the routes, as well as people-to-people exchanges.

The project, he added, will give positive energy and new impetus to world economic recovery in the wake of the international financial crisis.

HK can grow together with the nation: Zhang
A representative of a local innovation and technology start-up company introduces a multi-functional electronic wheelchair to top legislator Zhang Dejiang at the Hong Kong Science Park on Wednesday. (Photo provided to China Daily)

Zhang and his delegation arrived at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) in the afternoon for a tour of the city's innovation and technology development.

Zhang, escorted by a fleet of over 15 cars, arrived around 3:30 pm. He was expected to stay at the HKSTP for an hour, during which he was also to meet with some of the city's young entrepreneurs.

Meetings with presidents from the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology were also scheduled so Zhang could become more informed about Hong Kong's science and technology development.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung accompanied Zhang for the visit.

Security was strengthened in the park for Zhang's visit. Every 20 meters stood several security staff or police officers.

Staff working in the Science Park said their business went on as usual ahead of the State leader’s arrival.

The State leader, who is on the second day of his three-day inspection trip to the SAR, is expected to meet representatives of State-owned enterprises in Hong Kong later this afternoon before attending the Hong Kong government’s welcome banquet in the evening.

Zhang will also meet 10 legislators, including four from the opposition, at a cocktail reception before the banquet, which will be attended by about 500 dignitaries from various sectors of the local community.

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