Airport's big plans set to take off

Local | Carine Chow 18 Oct 2021

Hong Kong will establish first-class services by pushing trade, aviation and logistics development with Greater Bay cities, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po says.

Chan said on his blog yesterday that Hong Kong would thus blend into national development and achieve a sustainable economy in its own style.

He had been to trade fairs in Guangzhou and Zhuhai last week, where he introduced to mainland counterparts the opportunities at the SAR.

Hong Kong would therefore be collaborating with "brother cities" in the Greater Bay Area in facilitating developments in logistics.

The Airport Authority is planning to set up a new cargo handling facility at Hong Kong International Airport as well as a logistics park in Dongguan, he said.

This will allow mainland exporters to complete customs clearance procedures, security screening and other services in Dongguan, and goods could then be moved to the cargo-handling facility in the restricted area of Hong Kong's airport and on to destinations.

"For air cargo imports to the mainland goods can pass through the same channel, transferring directly from Hong Kong International Airport's restricted area to Dongguan for distribution," Chan added.

The Airport Authority will also see its Premium Logistics Centre in operation by 2023, and the Air Mail Center will be redeveloped to include advanced equipment.

By 2024 - the year the airport's third runway will be launched - the annual cargo throughput is expected to exceed nine million tonnes, which could handle demand for 10 more years.

Chan also noted the mainland is Hong Kong's biggest export market - it accounted for 59 percent of total exports last year compared to 35 percent in 2000.

He also expects Hong Kong's exports to the mainland to continue to grow at a considerable pace considering its development strategies.

Looking ahead, he said, mainland citizens' income levels will continue to increase, and the middle-class population is estimated to grow from the current 400 million to 800 million, meaning more purchasing power.

Chan also said Hong Kong is aiming to join the international free-trade Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with support from the Ministry of Commerce to provide a bigger market for SAR enterprises and investors.

The SAR has free-trade agreements with 20 economies at present.

Hong Kong's economic development will be in close step with national development plans, Chan added, and in this the SAR administration will continue to support people in Hong Kong developing careers and starting businesses in the mainland.

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November 2021

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