Wednesday, July 30, 2014   




Zeman sees competitive SAR growing in mainland

Friday, May 23, 2014

The "Father of Lan Kwai Fong," Allan Zeman, says he supports the idea of Hong Kong expanding into Hengqin in Zhuhai or Nansha as the SAR needs to compete with mainland cities.

Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Holdings, told The Standard yesterday he saw no reason why Hong Kong could not copy Macau, which decided to expand to Hengqin Island in Zhuhai, where the 80-building University of Macau will soon open.

"There is a shortage of land both for housing and commercial use," Zeman said. "In order for Hong Kong to compete with some of the other cities in China, we need to expand our land."

Zeman said Hong Kong is bound by the green country parks, which cannot be touched, and Victoria Harbour, which cannot be filled in further.

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"The only way forward is to think out of the box and to look for more land. Macau did it with the University of Macau on Hengqin Island, with 80 buildings."

Zeman said Hong Kong will be changing soon with the building of two huge projects - the Hong Kong-Macau- Zhuhai Bridge and the Express Rail Link.

The megabridge will be finished by the end of 2015, which will cut travel to just 25 minutes, while the delayed cross- border rail link is set to open in 2017.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in his policy address that an artificial island could be formed on Lantau to become "a bridgehead economy."

But Zeman said getting land that already exists from the mainland could be a better idea.

"It is a good idea, but it would really be sitting down and trying to present a proper case to Beijing and we would have to look at the pluses and minuses. We would just have to have a strong argument on why it could help Hong Kong.

"If it could help create more stability in Hong Kong, it would be worth fighting for."

MARY ANN BENITEZ


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